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Reds name side as they prepare for ‘different kettle of fish’ in Blues

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Josh Flook is back as one of three changes to the Reds’ starting side as the Queenslanders prepare for a “different kettle of fish” against the Blues in Brisbane on Saturday evening.

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Flook will line up in the midfield along with Wallaby Hunter Paisami, while experienced lock Angus Blyth comes into the run-on side as a replacement for the injured Cormac Daly.

2023 Junior Wallabies speedster Tim Ryan is in line to make his first starting appearance of the season with coach Les Kiss opting to rest regular winger Mac Grealy this weekend.

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The Queensland Reds will be full of confidence and belief after an utterly dominant 31-nil shutout win over the Highlanders last time out. But the Blues present their own challenge.

“We know the task ahead of us on Saturday. We’ve got to put forward our best team performance because the Blues were fairly compelling with what they did to the Brumbies last weekend,” coach Les Kiss said in a statement.

“I know Suncorp Stadium means a lot to our boys. They love it and occasions like this.

“Obviously, being an ANZAC weekend round game makes it special. The boys love the jersey that has been created.

“There is depth of understanding from our squad of something bigger than the game with the people who put lives on the line for us. We’re privileged we get to recognise them with that we put out on the field.

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“The Blues are a very good team. The fact we’ve done OK against a couple of New Zealand teams this season is good but this is a different kettle of fish.”

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
0
Draws
1
Wins
4
Average Points scored
22
34
First try wins
60%
Home team wins
20%

Former Blues and All Blacks prop Alex Hodgman gets another start in the No.1 jersey along with Matt Faessler and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen in the front row.

In-form Ryan Smith joins Angus Blyth in the middle row, while captain Liam Wright lines up alongside John Bryant and Harry Wilson for the second match in a row.

Without Wallabies Fraser McReight and Tate McDermott, Kalanai Thomas will start at halfback once again. Thomas joins rising star Tom Lynagh in the halves.

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Paisami and Flook are the Reds’ midfielders with Jordan Petaia set to miss the rest of the season through injury. Tim Ryan, Wallaby Suliasi Vunivalu and Kock Campbell are the outside backs.

On the bench, Floyd Aubrey is in line to potentially make his Queensland Reds Super Rugby debut in the No.23 jersey.

This match at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium is scheduled to get underway at 7:35 pm AEST on Saturday evening.

Queensland Reds to take on Blues

  1. Alex Hodgman
  2. Matt Faessler
  3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen
  4. Ryan Smith
  5. Angus Blyth
  6. Liam Wright (c)
  7. John Bryant
  8. Harry Wilson
  9. Kalani Thomas
  10. Tom Lynagh
  11. Tim Ryan
  12. Hunter Paisami
  13. Josh Flook
  14. Suliasi Vunivalu
  15. Jock Campbell

Replacements

  1. Josh Nasser
  2. Peni Ravai
  3. Sef Fa’agase
  4. Connor Vest
  5. Joe Brial
  6. Louis Werchon
  7. Lawson Creighton
  8. Floyd Aubrey*

*Potential Queensland Reds Super Rugby debut

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