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Hunter Paisami starts as Reds prepare for ‘tough’ Force out west

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Wallaby Hunter Paisami is back at the perfect time for the Queensland Reds as they prepare to make the trek out west to take on the Force at Perth’s HBF Park.

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Paisami will start at inside centre for the Reds as a direct replacement for the injured Issac Henry, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during the win over the Rebels in round four.

Henry is set for a six to nine-month recovery period after undergoing surgery to repair the ruptured patella tendon he suffered last time out at AAMI Park.

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But Paisami comes in as a timely replacement, with the more-than-20-Test Wallaby’s inclusion coming as a major boost to the Reds as they search for what would be their fourth win in five starts.

Queensland are second on the Super Rugby Pacific standings behind the Hurricanes. The Canes are the only team who have beaten the Reds this season, but that was a golden point thriller during Super Round in Melbourne.

“Before being sidelined, Hunter was in top form with his consistently solid performances. He is a plus for us,” coach Kes Kiss said in a statement.

“Our analysis of the Force shows they are playing periods of really good rugby. We played and lost to them in a trial at Ballymore six weeks ago so we know how tough an opponent they will be on their home ground.

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“We have to concentrate on our own game to keep our standards high. We know we put ourselves under pressure against the Rebels in the second half last game so there have been areas of our game to work on.

“The guys are a very tight group and this opportunity on the road is another chance to keep improving.”

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The other big change for the Reds sees 19-year-old playmaker Harry McLaughlin-Phillips make way for 20-year-old Tom Lynagh to start in the No. 10 jersey this week.

McLaughlin-Phillips was impressive in the starting role during the commanding win over the Rebels on Friday night, but Lynagh has emerged as a genuine Wallabies bolter.

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2023 Junior Wallaby Taj Annan has also been named on the bench with Australia international Jordan Petaia ruled out as he goes through HIA protocols.

The rest of the matchday squad remains the same with the likes of Seru Uru, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson and Josh Flook looking to continue their purple patch of form in Perth.

Queensland will take on the Western Force at 6.35 pm AEST in Perth on Saturday evening.

Reds team to take on Western Force

  1. Peni Ravai
  2. Matt Faessler
  3. Zane Nonggorr
  4. Seru Uru
  5. Ryan Smith
  6. Liam Wright (cc)
  7. Fraser McReight
  8. Harry Wilson
  9. Tate McDermott (cc)
  10. Tom Lynagh
  11. Mac Grealy
  12. Hutner Paisami
  13. Josh Flook
  14. Suliasi Vunivalu
  15. Jock Campbell

Reserves

  1. Josh Nasser
  2. George Blake
  3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  4. Cormac Daly
  5. John Bryant
  6. Kalani Thomas
  7. Harry McLaughlin-Phillips
  8. Taj Annan
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B.J. Spratt 51 minutes ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

You Poms and Paddies are really nice guys. New Zealand V Ireland - 37 Tests - N.Z. 31 Wins - Ireland 5 Wins - 1 draw. New Zealand V England - 45 Tests - N.Z. 35 Wins -England 8 Wins - 2 draws. Combined - You have beaten the All Blacks 13 Times in 82 attempts over 119 years. The Stats over 100 years + would say, especially England with 6 Times the player pool than New Zealand, you have “a limitation of context” regarding developing your coaches to teach your players how to WIN. So how can England with a 6 times the player numbers have a 17% winning strike rate against New Zealand? and be 8 -0 in Test Series over 100 years. The answer is simple. Your perception of the game. How do you fix it? You need to play in New Zealand for a couple of seasons in your teens, 18 -20 or send coaches over here. Martin Johnstone played 2 seasons here under the mentorship of Colin Meads. When he came here he had rugby shorts with pockets and a handkerchief in one pocket. He played for NZ Under 21 against Wallaby John Eales. He became the toughest player in the game and the best ever English Captain and Captained the Lions twice. Legend! Maybe if he hadn’t come to New Zealand, he may still had those rugby shorts with pockets. Recently Rogan O’Gara spent time at the Crusaders. What a great coach. “Our “mindset is different” and that’s how we have beaten you for 100 years + How the hell he isn’t Coaching Ireland, France, England, Wales, or Scotland I will never know? England has 131,000 Senior rugby Players. Ireland has 21,000 Senior Players. New Zealand has 27,000 Senior Players.

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