Kerevi, Thor among big Reds names to return for Chiefs trial

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

The Reds have swum against the tide and named all but one of their returning Wallabies to play against the Chiefs in their final trial of the pre-season at Ballymore on Friday night.

In a World Cup year, the Waratahs and Brumbies decided to rest their big names ahead of round one but the Reds have included four players from last year's spring tour.

Samu Kerevi, Taniela Tupou, Sefa Naivalu and Jordan Petaia have been named in the starting side for the Ballymore clash, while Alex Mafi, will come off the bench in his first appearance back from Japan.

Izack Rodda (rested) is the only member of the Reds' sprint tour contingent missing in a match the Reds believe is crucial to their Super Rugby preparations.

Attack coach Jim McKay said with Queensland facing a round one bye, it was vital the Wallabies be involved in the trial to gain momentum ahead of the Reds' opening Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders.

"We respect the national program but for our program it was critical they play this week," McKay said.

"They've been training with us for a couple of weeks now but they've got to play with us and get some combinations and synergy with the other guys.

"We have a bye in the fist round of the competition, so it was really important they play with us this week."

The Reds lost their opening trial in Ballarat last week to a Rebels fightback after the siren.

And while there were some positive signs, McKay expected the team would build on that showing against the Chiefs.

"We're expecting some growth from last week from the Rebels game and we're in the (early) stage of building our game," he said.

"We're expecting from the Chiefs, a good game, and it suits us entering the season because our first two games are against the Highlanders and Crusaders, so I think they'll have a similar style.

"So it's an important game for us and a really important game for where we're at.

"And in the context of the opposition, it's ideal preparation for us."

Reds coach Brad Thorn agreed that engaging a New Zealand side before facing Kiwi teams back-to-back in the competition proper provided his team with a perfect preparation.

"It'll be the Chiefs' last hitout before they play the following week, so they'll be coming with real intent," Thorn said.

"It's also our last (pre-season) hitout, so I'm looking for the guys to step up from last week."

The Chiefs have named a familiar face in the form of Jack Debreczeni, the former Rebels and Australian under 20s fly-half.

The Reds take on the Chiefs on Friday at Baltimore, February 8 at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT.  The game will be live streamed on Redsrugby.com.au

Queensland team

1 Feao Fotuaika 

2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa 

3 Taniela Tupou 

4 Harry Hockings 

5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

6 Angus Scott-Young 

7 Liam Wright 

8 Scott Higginbotham 

9 Moses Sorovi 

10 Hamish Stewart 

11 Jordan Petaia 

12 Samu Kerevi 

13 Chris Feauai-Sautia

14 Sefa Naivalu 

15 Bryce Hegarty 

 

Bench

16 Alex Mafi 

17 Harry Hoopert 

18 Ruan Smith 

19 Angus Blyth 

20 Caleb Timu 

21 Tate McDermott 

22 Duncan Paia’aua 

23 Isaac Lucas 

24 Adam Korczyk 

25 Teti Tela 

26 Jack Hardy 

27 Filipo Daugunu 

Chiefs team

1. Atu Moli

2. Samisoni Taukeiaho 

3. Jeff Thwaites 

4. Michael Allardice (C) 

5. Tyler Ardron 

6. Mitchell Brown

7.Lachlan Boshier

8. Taleni Seu

9. Brad Weber

10. Jack Debreczeni

11. Etene Nanai-Seturo

12. Alex Nankivell

13. Bailyn Sullivan

14. Malo Tuitama

15. Shaun Stevenson

Reserves

16. Sekope Moli

17. Aidan Ross

18. Tevita Mafileo

19. Laghlan McWhannell

20. Jesse Parete

21. Jack Stratton

22. Tyler Campbell

23. Orbyn Leger

24. Sosefo Kautai

25. Mitchell Jacobson

26. Pita Gus Sowakula

27. Quinn Tupaea