Queensland Reds announce team for Round 1 clash against the Waratahs

Wed, Feb 21, 2024, 2:17 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit
Les Kiss has named his first team for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season
Les Kiss has named his first team for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season

Tom Lynagh has been named to start at flyhalf in the Queensland Reds side for Saturday night’s clash against the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.


Head coach Les Kiss has included nine players with Wallabies experience as well as former All Blacks prop Alex Hodgman for the blockbuster opener to the Super Rugby Pacific season.

For Hodgman, 30, it will be his debut as a Queensland Reds player after previous Super Rugby stints with the Crusaders and Blues in New Zealand.

Three potential Super Rugby Pacific debutants have been named in the Reds’ match-day squad of 23 with teenage flyhalf Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, backrower John Bryant and Irish lock Cormac Daly on the bench.

The trio won their first caps for Queensland late last year in the match against Japan’s Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights but this would be a first taste of Super Rugby Pacific.

Kiss reiterated what matches against NSW mean for Queenslanders in any sport.

“It’s tough, it’s exciting, it’s rivalry at its best. It’s an occasion I live for,” Kiss said.

“As a team, we know what the Waratahs are capable of and what this game means to them. Nothing is taken for granted.

“The team picked for Queensland has the responsibility to fill the jersey and take on a NSW team we expect to be a difficult opponent.

“I’ve got good options at No.10 and this week it is Tom Lynagh’s opportunity.

“He’s familiar with what it takes at Super Rugby level after his debut season in 2023 and he’ll bring that experience to the game.

“Having a prop of Alex’s vast experience is fantastic. He’s played a lot of Super Rugby.”

Tate McDermott and Liam Wright will co-captain a side that has been hard at training under Kiss and his coaching team.

Lynagh, 20, said the ongoing competition for the No.10 jersey within the squad has been a positive.

“It’s good we have that competition. It drives us all to be better and even with James (O’Connor) injured he has been passing on his knowledge,” Lynagh said.

“I do feel I learnt a lot from last season in our good moments as a team and also in the tough losses. Taking a bit more control on the field is one area of development.

“I’ve enjoyed connecting will all the new coaches for a fresh season.”

Grealy, 21, earns a start on the wing to open his fourth season with the Reds after making six appearances for the side in 2023.

McLaughlin-Phillips and Bryant are both products of Queensland rugby pathways. Daly has made a strong impression with his workrate since joining from Sydney’s Shute Shield premiers Randwick last year after his rugby education in Ireland where he played for the national Under-20s side.

Queensland v NSW in rugby is the original rivalry with the first clash between the proud states enacted in 1882.

The Reds have won the past three matches played between the sides at Suncorp Stadium (2020-21-22) while the Waratahs were successful when the teams met in Townsville last year.

Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs

Saturday 24 February

Suncorp Stadium

7.05pm AEST

Watch live via Channel Nine and Stan Sport 

1.    Alex Hodgman** - Sunnybank – Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland – Suburbs Rugby Football Club, Auckland

2.    Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints

3.    Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles

4.    Seru Uru – Wests – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji – Namoli Rugby Club, Fiji

5.    Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes

6.    Liam Wright (cc) – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School - Easts

7.    Fraser McReight – Brothers – Brisbane Grammar School – Albany Creek Brumbies

8.    Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils

9.    Tate McDermott (cc) University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club

10.    Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College, England – Richmond Rugby Club

11.    Mac Grealy – University of Queensland – Downlands College – Souths Toowoomba

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.    Jordan Petaia – Wests – Brisbane State High School


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. Cormac Daly* - Norths – Ul Riada, Ireland – North Kildare/Kilcock GAA, Ireland

20. John Bryant* - Souths - St Laurence’s College - Souths

21. Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School - Souths

22. Harry McLaughlin-Phillips* - Souths – Brisbane Boy’ College – Gunnedah Red Devils

23. Jock Campbell – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders

*Potential Super Rugby Pacific debut

**Queensland Reds debut

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