Jordan Petaia returns via bench for Reds

Date published: July 30 2020

The Reds will welcome back utility back Jordan Petaia and front-rower Feao Fotuaika for their top-of-the-table Super Rugby AU encounter against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

Petaia will make his much-anticipated return from a dislocated shoulder suffered in Buenos Aires five months ago, while Fotuaika ironically makes his comeback from a foot injury he aggravated in Round One of Super Rugby against the Brumbies at GIO Stadium back in January this year.

The duo’s inclusion are two of eight changes to Queensland’s matchday 23 for this weekend’s clash in Australia’s capital.

Dane Zander will start at loosehead prop with Harry Hoopert set to be sidelined for another four-to-five weeks with an MCL injury suffered against the Force in Round Three of Super Rugby AU.

Angus Blyth has overcome a shoulder injury and retakes his place in the second-row alongside Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.

It sees a reshuffle to the back-row as Angus Scott-Young shifts from lock to blindside flanker and captain Liam Wright will wear his familiar number seven jersey again.

There’s just one change to the backline with Scott Malolua earning his third start of 2020 and first in Super Rugby AU at scrum-half.

Malolua’s elevation means Tate McDermott will provide impact off the bench as a finisher alongside Fraser McReight, plus Petaia and Fotuaika.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The Brumbies in Canberra is always a tough game. They’re in strong form and we look forward to a tough contest.

“It’s exciting to have Jordan and Feao back in the team. They’ve been out since the start of the year and have worked hard to get back in shape. They’re two quality players and we can’t wait to see them out there on Saturday night.

“We’ve also got Angus Blyth back and then there’s fellow lock Ryan Smith who could make his Queensland debut off the bench which is exciting too.”

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Scott Malolua, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright (c), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Dane Zander
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Feao Fotuaika, 18 Jack Straker, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Jordan Petaia

Date: Saturday, August 1
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19:15 (10:15 BST, 09:15 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Jordan Way, Reuben Keane
TMO: Ian Smith