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Reds bring trio of talented X-factor youngsters back for potentially season-defining clash

By AAP
Fraser McReight.(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jordan Petaia will return to the wing while Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight are back in the Queensland Reds’ starting side for their must-win date with Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.

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Petaia was a late scratching in last weekend’s heavy loss to the Waratahs following the sudden death of his father.

Coach Brad Thorn said Petaia’s return at Suncorp Stadium would reignite the side as they look to keep pace with the second-placed Rebels, who jumped ahead of the Reds thanks to their impressive last-round win over the Brumbies.

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Reds prop Taniela Tupou – Rebels round seven

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Reds prop Taniela Tupou – Rebels round seven

With three games to play before finals, the Reds and Waratahs are equal third, three points behind the Rebels and seven behind the Brumbies.

“It’s a good boost for everyone having Jordy back,” Thorn said.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDxbb0egS_I/

“We’re a family here at the Reds and he’s a part of that.

“We’re a tight group and we’re all supporting him and his family.”

The coach has also reverted to in-form McDermott at the scrum base, while Fraser McReight will start at openside flanker in a backrow that sees Liam Wright move to the No.6 and Harry Wilson at No.8.

Prop Jack Straker will replace Dane Zander (knee) in the starting side after he was ruled out for the season, with Tongan-born, New Zealand-raised Jethro Felemi on the bench for a possible debut.

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The sides played out an 18-18 draw in their last meeting, with the Reds on a two-game losing streak after their narrow loss to the Brumbies a fortnight ago.

Queensland Reds: Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Dauguna, James O’Connor, Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jack Straker. Reserves: Alex Mafi, Jethro Felemi, Zane Nonggorr, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Scott Malolua, Bryce Hegarty, Josh Flook.

– Murray Wenzel

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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FEATURE Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it
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