Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds team to play Rebels in Melbourne

St.George Queensland Reds co-interim head coaches Nick Stiles and Matt O’Connor have announced their team to take on the Rebels in Melbourne this Saturday, with five changes to the starting side from last week’s match.
The side features two changes to the front row, with loosehead prop Sef Fa’agase and Andrew Ready set to make their run-on debut.
Fa’agase replaces Ben Daley, who has shifted to the reserves, while Ready slots in for Saia Fainga’a who will miss this weekend due to a foot injury. Fainga’a’s absence also means Brisbane City hooker Matt Mafi has the potential to make his Queensland and Super Rugby debut from the reserves.
The other change to the forward pack sees Brisbane City flanker Waita Setu called into the starting side for the first time, after making his debut last weekend, with Curtis Browning moved to the reserves.
Stiles said: “The selection panel decided to make a few changes, first and foremost because we haven’t been getting the results we’ve all been working for.”
“Sef (Fa’agase) has been coming on and doing a good job with his ball carries, he’s been explosive in contact and on top of that he’s been scrummaging well. It’s good that we have the depth in the front row that we are able to call on a number of strong set piece players if we need to.
“Andrew (Ready) has had a lot of minutes in the last two games and at no stage has the quality of the set piece dropped. He’s also worked hard on his ball carrying in the off-season and we’re starting to see the fruits of that labour. The added benefit we have with him is he’s quite strong over the ball and we expect the breakdown to be a key element on Saturday.
“Waita (Setu) offers us line speed and a good option at the breakdown. We know the Rebels will provide a strong challenge at the contact area and Waita is a genuine on-baller.
“Matt (Mafi) stands to make his debut following two seasons for Brisbane City in the NRC. He’s excellent at the set-piece elements of the game and has worked hard throughout the pre-season for this opportunity.”
In the backs, Anthony Fainga’a has been called into the starting side at inside centre for his first Super Rugby match since May last year, shifting Karmichael Hunt to starting fullback and Ayumu Goromaru to the reserves.
O’Connor said: “It’s good to see Anthony (Fainga’a) fit and back in the starting side. He has played 83 Super Rugby games and 23 Tests and brings valuable experience to the team,” O’Connor said.
“Anthony is experienced and abrasive and those are two traits that will benefit us against the Rebels.
“With Karmichael (Hunt), he has demonstrated his best position for the team at the moment is at fullback. Having Ayumu (Goromaru) in the reserves adds experience to the bench and the ability to call on a world-class goal kicker when required.
“The side has worked hard to build from the difficult lessons we learned last week. We will continue to play attacking Rugby and we’re developing that, but with that intention comes a responsibility to look after the ball and that will be crucial against the Rebels.”
The Reds face the Rebels in Melbourne this Saturday, 12 March, at AAMI Park at 7:45pm (local time). The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Channel 502.
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 Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision. Head to to learn more.
St.George Queensland Reds team to play Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 12 March, AAMI Park

1. Sef Fa’agase (run-on debut)
2. Andrew Ready (run-on debut)
3. Greg Holmes
4. Cadeyrn Neville
5. Rob Simmons (C)
6. Hendrik Tui
7. Waita Setu (run-on debut)
8. Jake Schatz
9. Nick Frisby
10. Jake McIntyre
11. Eto Nabuli
12. Anthony Fainga’a
13. Samu Kerevi
14. Chris Feauai-Sautia
15. Karmichael Hunt
16. Matt Mafi (potential Queensland/Super Rugby debut)
17. Ben Daley
18. Sam Talakai
19. Ben Matwijow
20. Curtis Browning
21. Scott Gale
22. Sam Greene
23. Ayumu Goromaru

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