Reds announce team for Super Rugby Pacific opener

Thu, Feb 23, 2023, 1:00 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

The Queensland Reds have confirmed their matchday-23 for this Saturday’s Super Rugby Pacific opener against the Hurricanes in Townsville.

19-year-old flyhalf Tom Lynagh will make his Queensland debut, with James O’Connor unable to overcome an ankle complaint in time for Round 1.

Off the bench, Fijian Test prop Peni Ravai, lock Jake Upfield and playmaker Taj Annan will potentially debut in the maroon jersey, while Sef Fa’agase is in line to play his 50th Queensland game.

Head coach Brad Thorn said: ““We’re excited to kick-off the season in Townsville.

“We’ve built some strong relationships and connections across the state during our Reds to Regions tours. We had a really enjoyable time in Townsville in 2021 when we played the Chiefs in front of a great crowd.

“The Hurricanes are a tough opposition that we have a lot of respect for.

“Tom Lynagh will debut at 10 and he’s earned his spot over the pre-season. We’re looking forward to seeing him in a Queensland jersey.

“Peni Ravai, Jake Upfield and Taj Annan may also get the chance to debut for Queensland.We wish them well.”

Lynagh will start alongside co-captain Tate McDermott in the halves, while Jordan Petaia will run-on at fullback with Jock Campbell still recovering from a minor ankle injury.

Isaac Henry and Hunter Paisami reprise their club Rugby partnership in the centres, seeing Josh Flook and Filipo Daugunu start on the wing.

Dane Zander, Matt Faessler and Zane Nonggorr start in the frontrow, with Lopeti Faifua making his starting debut at lock.

He’ll partner Ryan Smith, who has made a speedy recovery from a knocked suffered against the New South Wales Waratahs a fortnight ago.

Seru Uru, Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson make for a dynamic backrow, with skipper Liam Wright ruled out with concussion.

Off the bench, Connor Anderson is in line to make his Super Rugby Pacific debut after first representing Queensland on the Reds’ tour of Japan last year.

Buy tickets for Queensland's season opener via https://bit.ly/3I70Juvn or watch LIVE on Stan Sport and Nine Gem.

Queensland Reds v Hurricanes, Saturday 25 February, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville, 6:35pm AEST. Watch live on Stan Sport & Nine Gem

  1. Dane Zander – University of Queensland – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Albany Creek Brumbies
  2. Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints
  3. Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles
  4. Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes
  5. Lopeti Faifua** – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
  6. Seru Uru – Wests – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji – Namoli Rugby Club, Fiji
  7. Fraser McReight – Brothers – Brisbane Grammar School – Albany Creek Brumbies
  8. Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils
  9. Tate McDermott (cc) – University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club
  10. Tom Lynagh* – University of Queensland – Epsom College – Richmond Rugby Club
  11. Filipo Daugunu – Wests – Dogotuki District School, Fjii
  12. Isaac Henry – Wests – Brisbane Boys College – Kenmore Bears
  13. Hunter Paisami – Wests – Mangere College, Auckland
  14. Josh Flook – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
  15. Jordan Petaia – Wests – Brisbane State High School
  16. Richie Asiata – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School
  17. Sef Fa’agase – Sunnybank – Shailer Park State High School – Beaudesert Warriors – potential 50th Queensland cap
  18. Peni Ravai*** – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji
  19. Jake Upfield*** – Bond University
  20. Connor Anderson**** – Wests – Brisbane State High School – Everton Park Roosters
  21. Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School – Souths
  22. Lawson Creighton – Brothers – Padua College
  23. Taj Annan*** – Souths – Brisbane Boys College – Merewether Carlton

* Queensland and Super Rugby Pacific debut

**Queensland and Super Rugby Pacific starting debut

*** potential Queensland and Super Rugby Pacific debut

**** potential Super Rugby Pacific debut

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