McReight's debut another bonus for Reds from Brumbies win

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

It went largely unnoticed in the Reds' bonus point win against the Brumbies on Sunday but the Super Rugby debut of Fraser McReight may turn out to be a pivotal moment for Queensland rugby.

McReight, the Australian under-20 player of the year in 2018, is tipped as a star of the future set to become a fixture in the Reds backrow.

The former Brisbane Grammar student has been setting competitions alight since making a switch from the centres to become a workaholic openside flanker who became an Australian schoolboys representative at 16.

While he was named in the Reds' squad for the opening match of the season against the Highlanders in Dunedin, McReight did not play and had to wait for his moment.

"It was tough," McReight said of missing out.

"I had a good mate, Isaac Lucas making his debut, we've played rugby with and against each other for a while and we're good mates.

"I wanted to make a debut with him and wanted to make my debut in round two in Dunedin but things happen for a reason and I'm very, very fortunate that I was able to come off the bench (against the Brumbies) and make my debut it in front of my family and friends and we got a win as well.

"I don't think people writing my scripts could write it any better, I'm so fortunate."

McReight was injected into the game in the final minutes, with the Reds already holding a handy lead.

But the 20-year-old played his part in the victory, receiving the ball from a Brumbies short kick-off and starting a Reds drive that led to Brandon Paenga-Amosa's 80th minute try.

"We'd just scored a try, I came on, I kind of expected they were going to kick it to me," he said.

"There's five minutes to go, we were up by two tries and a bit and I thought they were going to go for a short kick off, and what happens? A short kick-off comes straight to me.

"I almost fumbled it but I didn't, I caught it and luckily just put it back and went away.

"We went upfield and scored after the 80th (minute), I couldn’t ask for anything more."

 

Becoming a Reds player meant the world to the Brothers club member.

"It means everything," he said.

"I've been playing rugby from such a young age and watching the Reds and admiring the Reds and to do it at home as well, in front of my family and friends, I couldn't ask for anything more.

"We get the win as well against the Brumbies, a big rivalry, I'm just so honoured to be a part of this club.

"Only a select few get to do it and I can't wait for many more to come."