Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds side to play New South Wales

The St.George Queensland Reds have named their side to take on New South Wales in Round 1 of Asteron Life Super Rugby.

Head coach Richard Graham has made three changes to the side which played the Brumbies in a trial match two weeks ago – with injuries forcing two of those.

Flankers Lolo Fakaosilea (hamstring) and Liam Gill (lower back) were not considered for selection due to injury. Fakaosilea suffered a ruptured hamstring tendon against the Brumbies, while recent scans revealed Gill had suffered a stress fracture in his lower back which will force him out for four weeks.

The side features two Super Rugby debutants in the starting lineup, with a further two on the bench. While all four are new to Super Rugby, they have all built up their experience in the lead up to this opportunity.

Starting at inside centre, Henry Taefu spent last season in the centres for Brisbane City in the NRC, where he built a combination alongside four of his teammates in the backline at the Reds.

Starting winger Eto Nabuli grew up playing Rugby in his homeland of Fiji and spent the last three seasons in the NRL where he was a potent threat out wide.

While he has never played Super Rugby, reserve fullback Ayumu Goromaru has played more than 50 Tests, including four at last year’s Rugby World Cup where he was key to Japan’s success.

Reserve lock Ben Matwijow is also likely to make his Super Rugby debut on Saturday, having joined the Reds shortly after claiming an ITM Cup championship with Canterbury.

Graham said: “We’ve put in a lot of hard work as a group over the last three and a half months building a physical foundation, developing our game play and coming together as a squad.
“We’ve spent the pre-season focused very much on ourselves and what we want to get out of the new season. This Saturday is our first opportunity to demonstrate that and the squad are looking forward to the occasion down in Sydney this weekend.
“While we have four guys making their Super Rugby debut on Saturday, they come with varying experience that has served them well to this point.”

This season sees the return of charitable initiative ‘Be Great, Do Good’, with founder Ben Daley joined by Reds teammates Cadeyrn Neville and Ben Matwijow – who will wear unique headgear each week to support different charities by raising funds and awareness for their cause.

This week the trio will wear headgear in support of the Fred Hollows Foundation. For more information, click here.

The Reds play New South Wales this Saturday 27 February at the Sydney Football Stadium at 7:40pm (local time).

St.George Queensland Reds v New South Wales
Saturday 27 February, Sydney Football Stadium

1. Ben Daley
2. Saia Fainga’a
3. Greg Holmes
4. Cadeyrn Neville (Queensland debut)
5. Rob Simmons (C)
6. Hendrik Tui
7. Curtis Browning
8. Jake Schatz
9. Nick Frisby
10. Jake McIntyre
11. Eto Nabuli (Queensland/Super Rugby debut)
12. Henry Taefu (Queensland/Super Rugby debut)
13. Samu Kerevi
14. Chris Feauai-Sautia
15. Karmichael Hunt

16. Andrew Ready
17. Sef Fa’agase
18. Sam Talakai
19. Ben Matwijow (Queensland/Super Rugby debut)
20. Michael Gunn
21. Scott Gale
22. Sam Greene
23. Ayumu Goromaru (Queensland/Super Rugby debut)

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