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St.George Queensland Reds centre Anthony Faingaa will captain a strong 28-man Reds trial side which boasts 11 capped Wallabies from 2012 in the Reds opening hit-out of the year against the Blues in a trial match in Toowoomba on Saturday.
Tickets for the encounter at the Toowoomba Sports Ground can be purchased through Ticketek here with Faingaa to lead the talented group into action for the first time in 2013.
The squad has a solid green and gold feel to it with 11 players selected in the match having featured in last year’s Wallaby Test campaign, which includes matches during the June Test window, Rugby Championship and end-of-season Spring Tour.
Headlined by mercurial playmaker Quade Cooper, the Reds starting backline is full of experience with Cooper linking with Ben Lucas in the playmaking roles; Faingaa and Ben Tapuai in the centres; Luke Morahan and Digby Ioane on the wings; and goal-kicking ace Mike Harris at fullback.
The Reds will commence the match with Radike Samo, Eddie Quirk and rookie Nigel Ah Wong in the backrow; Adam Wallace-Harrison and Blake Enever in the second-row; and James Hanson, Jono Owen and Albert Anae in the front-row.
There will also be plenty of additional impact at the disposal of Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie with 2012 Wallabies Saia Faingaa, Liam Gill and James Slipper to be injected into the match from the bench.
“Irrespective of if it’s a trial game or a Super Rugby encounter, we have created a mentality here at the Reds that every time you pull on the jersey you want to walk off the field with the scoreboard in your favour. That’s the approach we will be taking into Saturday night,” McKenzie said.
“There is always a delicate balance in choosing a trial team and it’s important we get our selections right. The inclusion of so many Wallabies is about being sure we are ready to play the Brumbies in round one.
“We’ve only got two trials before our opening Super Rugby game and we need to get the most out of them. Our Wallabies will help us do this but there is talent across the board that we will want to see in action.
“Every year there is any number of young players that use these trial games to push their case for selection and by the end of the season become established household names.
“All our guys have been putting in a tremendous amount of hard work during the preseason and you can really sense their excitement to now go out and play. There is plenty to look forward to in Toowoomba on Saturday night.”
Purchase tickets for Reds v Blues in Toowoomba: http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=REDSBLUE13
St.George Queensland Reds Trial Team v Blues in Toowoomba on Saturday 2 February
1. Albert Anae
2. James Hanson
3. Jono Owen
4. Blake Enever
5. Adam Wallace-Harrison (vc)
6. Nigel Ah Wong
7. Eddie Quirk
8. Radike Samo
9. Ben Lucas
10. Quade Cooper
11. Digby Ioane
12. Ben Tapuai
13. Anthony Faingaa (c)
14. Luke Morahan
15. Mike Harris
Curtis Browning, Jarrad Butler, Rod Davies, Saia Faingaa, Nick Frisby, Liam Gill, Greg Holmes, Jono Lance, Tom Murday, UJ Seuteni, James Slipper, Rex Tapuai, Aidan Toua
14 DECEMBER 2018