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Petaia makes Reds return

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Jordan Petaia makes long-awaited return to the Reds after missing 2019

Queensland’s new-look attack will be unveiled in a Super Rugby trial game more than 200km inland of Brisbane after Jordan Petaia was named to face the Waratahs in Dalby.

The 19-year-old was injured in his second game for the Reds last season but sensationally returned during the World Cup, replacing James O’Connor for the quarter-final.

That pair will combine against the Waratahs on Friday night though, with O’Connor looking to build on his confident return at No.12 last weekend and Petaia set to start at outside centre.

Powered by the surging runs of Samu Kerevi last season, the Reds will look to that pair for a different way forward after the former captain’s move to Japan.

Brumbies pick-up Henry Speight and Jock Campbell will start on the wings following incumbent Filipo Daugunu’s five-match suspension for a dangerous tackle late in their big defeat of the Rebels.

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Isaac Lucas will wear No.10 and Bryce Hegarty will start at fullback, the pair to be tested by a strong Waratahs side led by new captain Rob Simmons.

The Dalby clash will mark the first in regional Queensland between the sides since they met in Toowoomba 11 years ago.

“It’s great we can take another pre-season match to country Queensland,” coach Brad Thorn said.

“As a group, we’re looking forward to connecting with the Dalby community and the Waratahs will provide a good contest for us as we focus on our season opener against the Brumbies next week.”

Reds: Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Angus Blyth, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright (capt), Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, Isaac Lucas, Henry Speight, James O’Connor, Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell, Bryce Hegarty. Reserves: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Dave Feao, Josh Nasser, Ryan Smith, Seru Uru, Moses Sorovi, Hamish Stewart, Ilaisa Droasese, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Sam Wallis, Hunter Paisami.

– AAP

Brad Thorn didn’t have too much to complain about after last weekend’s spanking of the Rebels:

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Jordan Petaia makes long-awaited return to the Reds after missing 2019
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