Three changes for the Reds

Three changes for the Reds

The timely return of centre Josh Flook is one of three changes to the Queensland Reds’ starting side for Saturday night’s clash against the Blues at Suncorp Stadium.

The Reds will wear their unique khaki Anzac jersey in Super Rugby Pacific’s first Anzac Weekend Round where all five Australian sides are pitted against New Zealand opponents.

Flook returns at outside centre after a game off to replace Wallaby Jordan Petaia, who will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby Pacific season with a shoulder injury.

Experienced lock Angus Blyth comes in for Cormac Daly, who is sidelined with injury niggles from the 31-0 victory over the Highlanders last Friday night.

Head coach Les Kiss has created an opportunity for pacy 2023 Junior Wallabies winger Tim Ryan, 20, to make his first appearance in the starting side after two cameos as a finisher. Kiss has weighed up workload management in spelling regular winger Mac Grealy this weekend.

Off the bench, lock-backrower Connor Vest is in line to make the first Super Rugby Pacific appearance of the year.

Floyd Aubrey, the Indigenous winger-fullback who began his journey in Murgon, is ready for a potential Super Rugby Pacific debut after a fine performance for his club GPS last weekend.

“We know the task ahead of us on Saturday. We’ve got to put forward our best team performance because the Blues were fairly compelling with what they did to the Brumbies last weekend,” Kiss said.

“I know Suncorp Stadium means a lot to our boys. They love it and occasions like this."

The team's Anzac jersey commemorates the 60 Queensland Reds players who have served in five wars over 125 years, with 11 never returning.

“Obviously, being an Anzac Weekend Round game makes it special. The boys love the jersey that has been created," Kiss said.

“There is a depth of understanding from our squad of something bigger than the game with the people who put lives on the line for us. We’re privileged we get to recognise them with what we put out on the field.

“The Blues are a very good team. The fact we’ve done OK against a couple of New Zealand teams this season is good but this is a different kettle of fish.”

Kiss said Petaia was mapping out a plan with specialists.

“It is a tough one for Jordie. He’s a good rugby player and once he has a pathway for rehab he can move forward and have a chance to do things in the latter part of the season,” Kiss said.

Ryan said he was looking forward to his first run-on role for the Queensland Reds.

“I’m excited for the opportunity. Just getting involved to make myself an option as often as possible is probably the most important thing I’ve learnt,” Ryan said.

Vest has built match hardness in seven games this season in Reds trials, Reds Development XV games and club outings for Souths after a long lay-off last year.

“It’s definitely a great feeling, I’ve spent a long time grinding to get back,” Vest said.

“I've got stronger throughout these seven matches. I now feel I can build on my form of last year.

“The detail and depth from the Reds coaches is the best I’ve ever had so that’s another factor in my enjoyment.”

An Anzac service will be held on field before Saturday’s match. The Ode will be read by Corporal Bree-Anna Browne, the Wallaroos and Reds prop.

The service features an honour guard from three Queensland Infantry battalions where Reds have served in wartime - 9RQR, 25/49RQR and 6RAR.

The service will include the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand, played by the Australian Army Band Brisbane.

Returned and serving personnel are welcome to wear service medals to the match as are members of the public who wish to honour the service of their own relatives.
Queensland Reds v Blues
Saturday 27 April Suncorp Stadium
7:35pm AEST 
Watch live on 9GEM and Stan Sport  
1.    Alex Hodgman – Sunnybank – Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland – Suburbs RFC, Auckland
2.    Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints 
3.    Jeffery Toomaga-Allen - Norths - Wellington College, NZ  
4.    Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes 
5.    Angus Blyth – Bond University – The Southport School – Casuarina Beach Rugby Club
 6.   Liam Wright (c) – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School - Easts 
7.    John Bryant - Souths - St Laurence’s College - Souths 
8.    Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils 
9.    Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School - Souths
10.  Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College, England – Richmond Rugby Club
11.  Tim Ryan – Brothers – St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe
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.  Jock Campbell – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders 
16. Josh Nasser – University of Queensland - St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace - Easts 
17. Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji 
18. Sef Fa’agase – Sunnybank – Shailer Park State High School – Beaudesert Warriors
19. Connor Vest – Souths - Grafton High School - Grafton Junior Rugby Club
20. Joe Brial – University of Queensland – Scots College – Easts, Sydney
21. Louis Werchon – Wests – Sunshine Coast Grammar – Maroochydore Swans
22. Lawson Creighton - Brothers - Padua College
23. Floyd Aubrey* - GPS - Marist College Ashgrove - GPS
* Potential Queensland Reds Super Rugby debut

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