Reds head coach Brad Thorn has named an unchanged matchday 23 for Friday’s Super Rugby AU clash against the Melbourne Rebels in Sydney.
Following his team’s drought-breaking victory over the Waratahs last week, Thorn has stuck firm with the same side as they look to record back-to-back wins for the first time this year.
Lock Angus Blyth has passed HIA protocols this week following a head-knock in last Friday’s six-point win over the Waratahs in Brisbane and will resume his spot in the second-row.
Speedster Josh Flook has again been named as a finisher and is potentially set to make his Super Rugby and Queensland debut off the bench on Friday night.
Thorny's thoughts this week 🔊🔥💪🏻
🏉: Rebels v Reds
📍: Brookvale Oval, Sydney
🗓: Friday 10 July
⏰: 7:05pm AEST
📺: Live on Fox Sports 505 & Kayo#REBvRED #SuperRugbyAU@SuperRugby@FOXRUGBY @kayosports @MelbourneRebels pic.twitter.com/FQv71I7Ztj
— Queensland Reds (@Reds_Rugby) July 8, 2020
“This is game two for us and we’re focused on improving our game and knowing we’ve got a really tough opposition,” said Thorn.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for the Rebels. They’re a really good defensive side – good line-speed. Smart man at 10 there with (Matt) Toomua. They’ve got a good set-piece – they’ve really stepped-up in their scrummaging, good line-out.
“It was a good hit-out with them and the Brumbies. They’re a strong side and that’s how we’re approaching it.”
Friday’s clash is a home fixture for the Rebels but the match was moved to Sydney due to a spike in coronavirus cases in Melbourne.
The Reds return home next week as they host the Force at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, July 17.
Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jock Campbell, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 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 Harry Hoopert
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Josh Nasser, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 23 Josh Flook
Date: Friday, July 10
Venue: Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:05 (10:05 BST, 09:05 GMT)
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referees: Nic Berry, Jordan Way
TMO: George Ayoub