Reds rookie to face father's Waratahs

Reds rookie to face father's Waratahs

The Reds have signaled their Round 15 intentions with 10 internationals named to tackle the Waratahs in the final regular week of Super Rugby Pacific.

Queensland could have easily rested a host of front-line players given their confirmed fifth place on the competition ladder, however coach Les Kiss has made just four tweaks to the starting XV that defeated the Western Force 59-13 last weekend with Joe Brial, Connor Vest and Zane Nonggorr all moving off the pine.

Brial's starting debut comes against his father's former side with Michael Brial representing NSW 37 times across the backrow, including a handful of games as Waratahs captain.

“It’s unreal to get this first start in Sydney against the Waratahs,” Brial told Reds media.

“It’s a great feeling. The games I’ve played off the bench have shown me I’m ready for it at this level. “It’s been a good year at the Reds and the coaches have helped me develop those really important areas for a backrower, the ball-carry and breakdown.”

Highlights from the Round 1 clash of Super Rugby Pacific 2024 between the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs

“I’ll have 20-odd family at the game. I know what cap Dad will be wearing…you'll have to wait and see.”

Kiss told Reds media Brial had worked hard to earn a maiden start in maroon.

"Joe has really engaged with the Reds program since joining us late last year. He has got better and better and has worked very hard for this chance," Kiss said.

Lawson Creighton also returns from a week off to run the cutter outside co-captain Tate McDermott with the starting backline otherwise unaltered.

Fijian international Peni Ravai returns to the match-day squad as a finisher alongside Ryan Smith, John Bryant and Tom Lynagh with Sef Fa'agase and James O'Connor rotated out.

Taj Annan retains the #23 jersey with Tom Lynagh shifting from starter to finisher in the inside back role.

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