Brad Thorn has announced young gun Jordan Petaia will start at centre for the Queensland Reds as a replacement for Wallabies midfielder Samu Kerevi, who is out for 3-4 months following surgery to repair a ruptured bicep.


The Reds have limited options to replace Kerevi – Chris Feauai-Sautia who has played centre at Super Rugby level is injured, along with Queensland Country centre Izaia Perese.

“It’s really disappointing to lose Samu Kerevi to injury,” Thorn said.

“He has been in great form all year.

“We’ve had bit of an injury toll in that position, along with Chris Feauai-Sautia, Izaia Perese and Ben Lucas, but in saying that, it’s an opportunity for Jordan Petaia.

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Petaia, just 18, has shown physical power running on the wing for the Reds this year which will mirror the style and role that Kerevi plays for the side. He has impressed the coaches enough to earn their confidence.


“He has done a fantastic job in his first year of Super Rugby as an 18-year-old,” Thorn praised.

“He hasn’t been overawed with it and forced his way into the starting side.

“Centre is his natural position, so we’re looking forward to seeing how he goes with this opportunity.

With Petaia moving into the midfield, Fijian flyer Filipo Daugunu gets another chance to start in the vacated wing position while Teti Tela from Souths Magpies gets a chance to make a Super Rugby debut from the bench. The Reds will be boosted by the return of Wallabies lock Izack Rodda while Caleb Timu gets a start ahead of Wallaby loose forward Lukhan Tui at blind side flanker.

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“It is good to have Izack Rodda back in the mix,” Thorn said.

“We’ve got a lot of depth in the forward pack, which makes it pretty difficult come selection time.

“It’s a good problem to have.

Reds team to play the Rebels:

1. JP Smith
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
3. Taniela Tupou
4. Izack Rodda
5. Kane Douglas
6. Caleb Timu
7. George Smith
8. Scott Higginbotham (c)
9. Moses Sorovi
10. Hamish Stewart
11. Eto Nabuli
12. Duncan Paia’aua
13. Jordan Petaia
14. Filipo Daugunu
15. Jono Lance

16. Alex Mafi
17. Harry Hoopert
18. Ruan Smith
19. Lukhan Tui
20. Angus Scott-Young
21. Tate McDermott
22. Teti Tela
23. Aidan Toua

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