The Queensland Reds have made one change to their matchday-23 ahead of this weekend’s Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific Round 3 clash against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra.
Head coach Brad Thorn has named an unchanged starting XV after last weekend’s dominant 71-20 victory over the Western Force in Melbourne, while abrasive forward Connor Vest will make his return to the side via the bench after overcoming a thumb injury.
Thorn said: “We face the Brumbies this week. They’ve started the season strongly with two good wins.
“They’re one of the form sides in the competition and we know we have a tough game in front of us.
“We’re looking forward to the contest.”
Dane Zander, Matt Faessler and Zane Nonggorr reprise their combination in the front row, with Ryan Smith and Seru Uru set to pack down at lock at Canberra’s GIO Stadium.
Co-captain Liam Wright will again start at blindside flanker after his impressive return to the side against the Force, and will form an attacking backrow trio alongside Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson.
Tom Lynagh continues his promising start to his Super Rugby career in the number-10 jersey, partnering skipper Tate McDermott in the halves.
Josh Flook will look to back-up his strong outing against the Force in the midfield with partner Hunter Paisami making for an imposing combination in the centres.
Jordan Petaia, Filipo Daugunu and Suliaisi Vunivalu form an explosive back three, with the trio crossing the line for tries last weekend.
Vest will come off the bench in exchange for Wests backrower Connor Anderson, while Jock Campbell and James O’Connor will again provide experience as finishers after making their way back to the side last weekend as they returned from injury.
The Reds have won four of their last five matches against the Brumbies, with three of those wins coming by a margin of three-points or less.
Watch the clash live via Stan Sport and Nine Gem. ACT Brumbies v Queensland Reds, Saturday 11 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra, 6:35pm AEST. Watch live on Stan Sport & Nine Gem.
- Dane Zander – University of Queensland – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Albany Creek Brumbies
- Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints
- Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles
- Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes
- Seru Uru – Wests – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji – Namoli Rugby Club, Fiji
- Liam Wright (cc) – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School – Easts
- Fraser McReight – Brothers – Brisbane Grammar School – Albany Creek Brumbies
- Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils
- Tate McDermott – University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club
- Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College – Richmond Rugby Club
- Filipo Daugunu – Wests – Dogotuki District School, Fjii
- Hunter Paisami – Wests – Mangere College, Auckland
- Josh Flook – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
- Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
- Jordan Petaia – Wests – Brisbane State High School
- Richie Asiata – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School
- Sef Fa’agase – Sunnybank – Shailer Park State High School – Beaudesert Warriors
- Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji
- Connor Vest – University of Queensland – Grafton High School – Grafton Junior Rugby Club
- Jake Upfield – Bond University – The Southport School
- Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School – Souths
- James O’Connor – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
- Jock Campbell – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders