Trial by name only as Waratahs, Reds confirm teams for Roma clash

Thu, Feb 8, 2024, 2:49 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Reds hosted the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Fans will get an early Super Rugby Pacific preview as the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds confirm near full-strength sides for their trial in Roma.

Skipper Jake Gordon will return to the side in his first game back since battling concussions, which brought an abrupt end to his Toulon 'joker' stint.

Watch the Reds v Waratahs Super Rugby Pacific and Super W trials LIVE and exclusive on Stan Sport.

Wingers Dylan Pietsch and Mark Nawaqanitawase also come in for the match, with impressive lock Miles Amatosero will start.

It offsets the loss of Dave Porecki (Achilles) and Izaia Perese (Ankle), with assistant coach Jason Gilmore not expecting them to miss round one, with the two teams set to face off at Suncorp Stadium on February 24.

"It's a game that both clubs treat it really seriously," Gilmore said.

"It's a great weekend taking it out to the bush and having the girls playing as well.

"There's a good vibe around the weekend, not that we're going to hold too much back but it's a game of footy with two weeks out."

As for the Reds, teen sensation Harry McLaughlin-Phillips has been shown a massive sign of faith, named to start at flyhalf.

Tom Lynagh (back) will return via the bench with Lawson Creighton also on the 13-player bench.

Australia A lock Ryan Smith (calf) starts whilst Fijian international Peni Ravai and Wallaby Jock Campbell also start.

"We have a variety of skills within the good depth we have at No.10. Harry gets a chance to start after Lawson had the role in our first trial,” coach Les Kiss said in a statement. “It’s a good sign too with Ryan getting his first minutes of the season at lock and Josh Nasser returning to add depth at hooker from the bench.”

Super Rugby Player of the Year Fraser McReight is expecting the Waratahs to test them further after their narrow loss to the Force last weekend.

"We want to go up there and take points when we can, try and execute a bit better than we did on the weekend," McReight notes.

"We're still trying to understand combinations, match fitness in a trial. It's about how Les wants to attack and defend, taking that to another level before that opening game against the 'Tahs."


1.    Peni Ravai

2.    Matt Faessler 

3.    Zane Nonggorr 

4.    Seru Uru 

5.    Ryan Smith

6.    Liam Wright (co-capt) 

7.    Fraser McReight 

8.    Harry Wilson 

9.    Tate McDermott (co-capt) 

10.   Harry McLaughlin-Phillips

11.    Mac Grealy

12.    Hunter Paisami 

13.    Josh Flook 

14.    Suliasi Vunivalu 

15.    Jock Campbell


16. Josh Nasser

17. Alex Hodgman

18. Sef Fa’agase

19. Connor Vest

20. John Bryant

21. Kalani Thomas

22. Tom Lynagh

23. Jordan Petaia

25. Cormac Daly

26. George Blake

27. Lawson Creighton

28. Tim Ryan

29. Isaac Henry


1.    Angus Bell

2.    Mahe Vailanu

3.    Harry Johnson-Holmes

4.    Jed Holloway

5.    Miles Amatosero

6.    Lachie Swinton

7.    Charlie Gamble

8.    Langi Gleeson

9.    Jake Gordon (c)

10.   Tane Edmed

11.    Dylan Pietsch

12.    Lalakai Foketi 

13.    Mosese Tuipolotu

14.    Mark Nawaqanitawase

15.    Joey Walton


16. Theo Fourie

17. Hayden Thompson-Stringer

18. Dan Botha

19. Ned Slack-Smith

20. Teddy Wilson

21. Jack Bowen

22. Harry Wilson

23. Triston Reilly

25. Vuate Karawalevu

26. Ben Distaso

27. Jack Barrett 

28. Sam Thomson

29. Gabrielle Vendetti

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, at Ballymore Stadium announcing the landmark rugby tour of Tonga for the Queensland Reds men's and women's teams with from (left) Tongan women's coach Eddie Aholehei, Reds prop Massimo De Lutiis, Reds halfback Nat Wright and Tongan women's prop Ayla Cook.
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