Wright, Vunivalu, O’Connor and Campbell to return for Super Round clash

Thu, Mar 2, 2023, 12:58 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

The Queensland Reds have made four changes to their team ahead of this Sunday’s Super Round match against the Western Force in Melbourne.

Co-captain Liam Wright will return to the side at blindside flanker after a week’s lay-off with concussion, while fellow Wallabies Suliasi Vunivalu, James O’Connor and Jock Campbell will also feature in their first match of 2023.

Campbell is in line to notch his 50th Queensland cap off the bench as the entire competition descends on Melbourne for Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific’s second annual Super Round.

Head coach Brad Thorn said: “We’re looking forward to getting down to Melbourne for Super Round. Having all 12 teams in the one city is a great spectacle for our game.

“The Force kicked off their season with a good win last week, they’ll be a tough contest as always.

“We’ll welcome back Liam, Suli, James and Jock. They’re all experienced players who will bring a lot to our team.”

Wright’s inclusion sees Seru Uru shift to lock where he’ll partner Ryan Smith, with Harry Wilson and Fraser McReight starting in the backrow.

Dane Zander, Matt Faessler and Zane Nonggorr make for a settled front row as Queensland look to bounce back from their Round 1 loss to the Hurricanes.

Tom Lynagh retains his spot at flyhalf after debuting last week, partnering co-captain Tate McDermott in the halves.

A hand injury to Isaac Henry sees Josh Flook shift infield to outside centre, with Vunivalu taking his spot on the wing.

Hunter Paisami starts in the number-12 jersey, with Filipo Daugunu and Jordan Petaia rounding out the side at wing and fullback respectively.

 Campbell and O’Connor provide strike power off the bench, while Peni Ravai, Jake Upfield and Connor Anderson will feature again after making their Super Rugby debuts last week.

Western Force v Queensland Reds, Sunday 5 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne, 3:30pm AEST. Watch live on Stan Sport.

  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. Seru Uru – Wests – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji – Namoli Rugby Club, Fiji
  6. Liam Wright (cc) – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School – Easts
  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 – 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. Hunter Paisami – Wests – Mangere College, Auckland
  13. Josh Flook – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
  14. Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
  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
  18. Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji
  19. Jake Upfield – Bond University – The Southport School
  20. Connor Anderson – Wests – Brisbane State High School – Everton Park Roosters
  21. Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School – Souths
  22. James O’Connor – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
  23. Jock Campbell* – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders

*potential 50th Queensland cap