Reds make four alterations for Rebels

Date published: August 13 2020

Reds head coach Brad Thorn has made four changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Super Rugby AU clash against the Rebels in Brisbane.

Dane Zander has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury at training this week.

It sees Jack Straker starting at loosehead prop and fellow front-rower Jethro Felemi brought into the matchday 23 on the bench.

Born in Tonga and schooled in New Zealand, Felemi represented the Blues and also Auckland U18s sides before playing for North Harbour in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2016.

Two years later he moved to Australia and in 2019 played for Bond University Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) and GPS Rugby Club in Queensland Premier Rugby.

As for the other three changes, Jordan Petaia will make his return this week on the wing with Jock Campbell returning to full-back.

While Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight have both been promoted into the starting side.

McReight will wear the number seven jersey with captain Liam Wright shifting to blindside flanker in a reshuffle to the back-row.

McReight, McDermott and Petaia’s inclusion sees Angus Scott-Young, Scott Malolua and Bryce Hegarty respectively all on the bench as finishers.

Thorn said: “After two weeks of travelling, it’s good to be back home this week in front of our Queensland fans.

“The Rebels are a quality team. They’ll be full of confidence after their performance over the Brumbies. We went 90 minutes with them last time down at Brookvale and we’re expecting another tough match on Saturday night.

“We’re gutted for Dane. He’s been playing good footy recently. We’ve got Jethro coming in for us. He’s played a fair bit of footy including in the Mitre 10 Cup with North Harbour and also for Queensland Country in the NRC last year.

“It’s a good boost for everyone having Jordy back. We’re a family here at the Reds and he’s a part that. We’re a tight group and we’re all supporting him and his family.”

After an 18-all Super Time draw against Melbourne back in Round Two at Brookvale Oval, the Reds will be aiming for their first victory over the Rebels in two years as they look to keep their unbeaten Super Rugby AU record at home intact.

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Dauguna, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (c), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jack Straker
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Jethro Felemi, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Josh Flook

Date: Saturday, August 15
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19:15 (10:15 BST, 09:15 GMT)
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referees: Nic Berry, Jordan Way
TMO: Brett Cronan