Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn isn’t shy of making bold calls, and he has just made another one – naming 18-year old Jordan Petaia in the team to play the Brumbies.
“He may be young, but he has bags of talent and has shown plenty of promise at training and in our intrasquad trial,” Thorn said.
“It’s a good opportunity for him.”
Petaia was an Australian schoolboy last season in his final year of schooling at Brisbane State High School. Just last month he celebrated his 18th birthday. He is now set to become the Reds’ youngest ever Super Rugby debutant at 18 years and 24 days.
Petaia has been named on the bench, as well as Lukhan Tui following his three-match suspension while captain Scott Higginbotham returns to the starting side, pushing Caleb Timu to blindside flanker.
Duncan Paia’aua, who started all of the Reds games last year, has been dropped from the squad completely in a reshuffle that elevates Eto Nabuli back on the wing, Samu Kerevi to 12 and Chris Feauai-Sautia to 13. The move suggests that Thorn wants a bigger midfield to mark the Brumbies midfield duo of Tevita Kuridrani and Christian Lealiifano.
REDS: Aidan Toua, Filipo Daugunu, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Eto Nabuli, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Scott Higginbotham (c), Adam Korczyk, Caleb Timu, Kane Douglas, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper
Reserves: Alex Mafi, JP Smith, Ruan Smith, Lukhan Tui, Liam Wright, James Tuttle, Hamish Stewart, Jordan Petaia
BRUMBIES: Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Chance Peni, Wharenui Hawera, Matt Lucas, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Lachlan McCaffrey, Rory Arnold, Blake Enever, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio
Reserves: Robbie Abel, Faalelei Sione, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Sam Carter, Tom Cusack, Joe Powell, Kyle Godwin, James Verity-Amm.
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