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Ex-Ireland U20s lock handed first Super Rugby Pacific start with Reds

By Finn Morton
Cormac Daly of the Reds warms up prior to the round four Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds at AAMI Park, on March 15, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Former Ireland U20s lock Cormac Daly will start a Super Rugby Pacific start for the first time on Friday evening when the Queensland Reds host the Highlanders at Suncorp Stadium.


Daly, who recently spoke with RugbyPass about his unlikely journey to the Reds, starts in place of injured in-form lock Seru Uru. The Irishman will pack down alongside Ryan Smith.

Getty Images
Finn Morton spoke with ex-Ireland U20s lock Cormac Daly about his journey to the QLD Reds. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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With Wallabies Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight suspended, and Uru and centre Josh Flook injured, coach Les Kiss has made a number of changes to the Reds’ starting side.

Wallaby Jordan Petaia replaces injured Flook at outside centre, which opens the door for Toowoomba’s Mac Grealy to return to the First XV on the left wing.

Kalani Thomas gets the nod at halfback while young loose forward John Bryant will step up in the No. 7 jersey. Tom Lynagh and former All Blacks prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen are both also back in the run-on side.

“The opportunity in this now is to give more exposure to players who were playing off the bench and other players in the program to step up as well,” Kiss said.


“We had a massive surge at the beginning of the year. There was a great expectation that we put on ourselves, and we met that. Now, there’s a different expectation about how we respond to it. It’s a part of the journey.


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“There’s one Vo Rogue front-runner in this competition and that’s the Hurricanes. The other teams are within striking distance down to the last three.

“It’s a tight challenge in that mid-table.”

Alex Hodgman and try scoring machine Matt Faessler will also start in the front row, while the only other unmentioned forwards are familiar faces captain Liam Wright and Harry Wilson in the backrow.

Wallaby Hunter Paisami joins Jordan Petaia in a lethal midfield combination, while Suliasi Vunivalu and Jock Campbell are the other places in the starting backline.


Taking a look at the bench, Louis Werchon is in line for a potential Queensland Reds Super Rugby debut while Joe Brial could possibly make his Reds debut.

This match is scheduled to get underway at 7:35 pm local time.

Queensland Reds to take on Highlanders

  1. Alex Hodgman
  2. Matt Faessler
  3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  4. Cormac Daly
  5. Ryan Smith
  6. Liam Wright (c)
  7. John Bryant
  8. Harry Wilson
  9. Kalani Thomas
  10. Tom Lynagh
  11. Mac Grealy
  12. Hunter Paisami
  13. Jordan Petaia
  14. Suliasi Vunivalu
  15. Jock Campbell


  1. Josh Nasser
  2. Peni Ravai
  3. Sef Fa’agase
  4. Angus Blyth
  5. Joe Brial*
  6. Louis Werchon**
  7. Lawson Creighton
  8. Tim Ryan

*Potential Queensland Reds debut

**Potential Queensland Reds Super Rugby debut


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