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Queenslander Izaia Perese headlines Waratahs’ team for Super Rugby derby

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

Queensland-born Waratahs centre Izaia Perese knows what it’s like to represent both states. Perese played for the Reds and later the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL before jumping back to rugby union.


Perese, who has played a handful of Tests in Aussie gold, has been named in an all-Wallabies midfield for the Waratahs along with teammate Lalakai Foketi. The pair started alongside one another in the Wallabies’ final match at last year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

With pre-season now out of the way, the Waratahs seem to be itching for the season to start against their great rivals.

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“The good thing about trials is that you can really try and work on the basics and not give away too much,” Perese said in a statement.


“Now that it’s Round One, we’ve got a clean slate and we’re looking to showcase what we can bring.

“I think we’ll be able to go up there and do a job this weekend.

“Being a Queenslander and playing for the Tahs as well, I’m very fortunate to have played on both sides.

“It’s pretty funny, I know the feeling on both ends. I know how they’re going to be coming into the game and we’ve just got to match it.”


Perese recovered from an ankle complaint to feature in last week’s trial, and after signalling an intent to play in the opening round, the Wallaby will do just that.

Rising Max Jorgensen also returned form injury with 40 minutes in a trial against the Warringah Rat and Manly Marlins on Saturday, but the youngster has been on the bench.

But in some good news, Waratahs cans can look forward to seeing two of the team’s big-name recruits – big in stature, as well – take the field for their official debuts.

Lock Miles Amatosero will start alongside Jed Holloway, and Fergus Lee-Warner has been named at No. 6. Lee-Warner joins Charlie Gamble and Langi Gleeson in the backrow.


Captain Jake Gordon partners Tane Edmed in the halves, and outside of the previously mentioned midfield, Dylan Pietsch, Mark Nawaqanitawase and Joey Walton are the outside backs.

The Waratahs’ season opener away to the Queensland Reds is set to kick-off at 6.30 pm AEDT on Saturday evening. It’s the final game in the opening round of the season.

Waratahs team to take on Reds

  1. Angus Bell
  2. Mahe Vailanu
  3. Harry Johnson-Holmes
  4. Jed Holloway
  5. Miles Amatosero*
  6. Fergus Lee-Warner*
  7. Charlie Gamble
  8. Langi Gleeson
  9. Jake Gordon (c)
  10. Tane Edmed
  11. Dylan Pietsch
  12. Lalakai Foketi
  13. Izaia Perese
  14. Mark Nawaqanitawase
  15. Joey Walton


  1. Theo Fourie**
  2. Hayden Thompson-Stringer**
  3. Daniel Botha
  4. Sam Thomson**
  5. Hugh Sinclair
  6. Teddy Wilson
  7. Harry Wilson
  8. Max Jorgensen

*Denotes debut   **Denotes potential debut


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mitch 1 hours ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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