Super Rugby Teams: Reds, Crusaders bring back guns for blockbuster clash

Thu, 20/05/2021, 03:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Hunter Paisami headlines the returns for the Reds. Photo: Getty Images

The Reds and Crusaders have welcomed back a host of internationals for their blockbuster clash at Suncorp Stadium.

The AU champion Reds will be boosted by Harry Wilson (concussion), Hunter Paisami (facial) and Tate McDermott's return to the starting side alongside Taniela Tupou, Fraser McReight and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.

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Alex Mafi also returns to the bench, having missed the opening round with a concussion, joined by Angus Scott-Young and Seru Uru.

Suliasi Vunivalu has been rewarded for his double, elevated to the starting side to partner Jock Campbell.

Liam Wright and James O'Connor retain the co-captaincy, with Wright bringing up his half-century in the maroon jersey.

“Congratulations to Liam Wright who brings up his 50th cap for Queensland. He debuted as a 20-year-old back in 2018 after being a part of successful U20s and NRC titles with Queensland and Queensland Country," coach Brad Thorn said in a statement

"He’s a leader on-and-off the field and has the respect of both the players and staff here. As a group, we congratulate him on this great achievement.

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As for the Crusaders, Will Jordan and Mitchell Drummond return into the backline that was narrow victors over the Brumbies last Saturday.

Whetukamokamo Douglas comes into the back row, replacing Tom Sanders, who has been sidelined with a facial fracture.

Along with this, prop Oliver Jager will start in the front row, pushing Michael Alaalatoa to the bench.

Cody Taylor will once again captain the side as Scott Barrett fails to overcome injury, set to return for next week's clash with the Waratahs.

REDS (1-15): Dane Zander, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Liam Wright (co-c), Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (co-c), Jock Campbell, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Suliasi Vunivalu, Bryce Hegarty

Reserves: Alex Mafi, Harry Hoopert, Feao Fotuaika, Seru Uru, Angus Scott-Young, Kalani Thomas, Isaac Henry, Filipo Daugunu.

INs: Alex Mafi, Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Hunter Paisami

OUTs: Josh Nasser, Moses Sorovi, Josh Flook, Angus Blyth

CRUSADERS (1-15): George Bower, Cody Taylor (c), Oliver Jager, Mitchell Dunshea, Sam Whitelock, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Ethan Blackadder, Cullen Grace, Mitchell Drummond, Richie Mo'unga, Leciester Fainga'anuku, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Sevu Reece, Will Jordan

Reserves: Brodie McAlister, Tamati Williams, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Sione Havili Talitui, Bryn Hall, Dallas McLeod, Manasa Mataele

INs: Will Jordan, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Sione Havili Talitui, Mitchell Drummond, Quinten Strange, Dallas McLeod

OUTs: Ereatara Enari, Fergus Blake, George Bridge, Tom Sanders, Scott Barrett, Brendon O’Connor

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