The Queensland Reds have been dealt a hefty injury blow in the lead-up to their blockbuster Super Rugby AU clash against the Brumbies in Brisbane.
Wallabies midfielder Hunter Paisami has reportedly been ruled out of the match due to a calf injury, according to Fox Sports.
The 22-year-old had been named to start at centre for Brad Thorn’s side, but he has instead been replaced by Josh Flook, who had initially been named to start from the bench.
Former Australua U20 representative Lawson Creighton has also come into the match day side to take Flook’s place on the pine.
Fox Sports reports that the Queensland outfit had hoped to keep the injury news quiet, but it is understood the youngster will be available for his side’s final match of the regular season against the Force in two weeks’ time.
Paisami has been a standout for the Reds since debuting for the franchise in 2019 and is part of a strong, youthful nucleus of the squad.
He – along with the likes of Jordan Petaia, James O’Connor, Filipo Daugunu, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tate McDermott, Jock Campbell and Bryce Hegarty – is also part of a lethal cohort of backs at Suncorp Stadium.
Formerly of the Rebels, Paisami’s talent and potential was recognised by Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie last year, when he handed the former Australian Schools and Australian U20 representative a test debut against the All Blacks in Wellington.
Paisami went on to play in all six of Australia’s tests in 2020 and was included in Rennie’s 40-man training squad to congregate on the Gold Coast for a three-day training camp this month.
The Reds, meanwhile, sit atop the Super Rugby AU standings with six wins from as many matches, but a defeat to the second-placed Brumbies could see them lose their top-of-the-table status.
Victory over Dan McKellar’s side would ensure the Reds a first-place finish at the end of the regular season, which would guarantee them a home grand final for the first time since their only title-winning season in 2011.
Kick-off for the match is scheduled for 7:45pm AEST.
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