Perese throws hat in fullback ring

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Reds dynamo Izaia Perese has put his hand up for the fullback vacancy at the Reds, after a super Brisbane Tens showing.

Queensland will have a dilemma at 15 this season, with the playing future of Karmichael Hunt still up in the air after drugs charges, and Perese hopes he will have a chance to fit the bill.

The 20-year-old provided a bright spot for the Reds on a winless opening day and continued to be influential on finals day.

Perese is just the latest name added to the list of possible 15 options, with the Reds bringing back Ben Lucas, Jono Lance and Aidan Toua in recent weeks, while winger Filipo Daugunu has also been thrown in the mix.

Perese played mainly on the wing for the Reds in 2017 but has also played plenty of outside centre for Queensland Country in the NRC.

“I'd like to give fullback a big crack, because you can attack both sides, just roam around, do whatever you want,” he said after the Reds’ quarter-final win.

“I take what I'm given, beggars can't be choosers, at the end of the day there's a lot of competition at the Reds at the moment, so I get what I'm given and I'm happy to play any position.

Reds Tens captain Samu Kerevi said he was proud of the team, who became the first Aussie team to beat a Kiwi Super Rugby franchise in close to a year when they bested the Chiefs in the quarter-finals.

“I'm really proud of the young group that we have, we have to learn quickly the first day and I'm really proud of the boys' efforts to get through the quarters,” he said.

“We wanted to go all the way but unfortunately it wasn't our day today.

“I think the growth in the young boys (is really exciting).

“Our squad was really young and I thought a lot of them put their hand up.”

The Reds play a final trial against the Fiji Warriors on Thursday February 15, before their Super Rugby opener eight days later.

Queensland opens its Super Rugby campaign against the Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday February 23, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT. Buy tickets here.