Paia'aua to be Reds' playmaker against Chiefs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Reds will turn to another young playmaker against the Chiefs, with Duncan Paia'aua to get his first Super Rugby start against the Chiefs.

Paia'aua was given the first opportunity to trial out the playmaking spot ahead of the 2015 season, after former Reds 10 broke his collarbone, but a concussion curtailed his season.

That preseason debut was overshadowed by the first match of Karmichael Hunt, who is set to miss yet another Super Rugby match with injury.

Against the Brumbies, the 21-year-old showed much improvement from that first dalliance, coming off the bench to replace McIntyre.

Wallabies lock Kane Douglas will make his Queensland starting debut on Friday night, named in the second row to face the Chiefs.

Douglas came off the bench against the Brumbies a week ago, in his first appearance for his new franchise and first match since last October's Rugby World Cup final.

Duncan Paia'aua debuted against the Rebels in the 2015 preseason. Photo: Getty Images

Anthony Fainga'a comes on to the bench after being omitted from the team to face the Brumbies.

Interim co-coach Matt O'Connor said the Reds had total confidence in the young playmaker to step up.

“It’s disappointing to lose Jake for this match, but we’re confident in Duncan’s ability," he said.

"He performed well when he came off the bench to cover for Jake in the second half last week and we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can produce against the Chiefs on Friday night.

“The Chiefs are top of the New Zealand conference for a reason. We are well aware of the threats they pose. They are a fantastic footy team."

Reds team to face the Chiefs Friday July 8, 7:40pm AEST

1. James Slipper (C)

2. Andrew Ready

3. Greg Holmes

4. Cadeyrn Neville

5. Kane Douglas (run-on debut)

6. Hendrik Tui

7. Liam Gill

8. Curtis Browning

9. Nick Frisby

10. Duncan Paia’aua (run-on debut)

11. Eto Nabuli

12. Henry Taefu

13. Samu Kerevi

14. Chris Kuridrani

15. Jack Tuttle


16. Matt Mafi

17. Sef Fa’agase

18. Taniela Tupou

19. Lukhan Tui

20. Leroy Houston

21. James Tuttle

22. Anthony Fainga’a

23. Campbell Magnay