Queensland Reds announce team to play Melbourne Rebels in Round 4

Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 2:53 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit

The Queensland Reds have made two changes to their starting side for Friday night’s clash against the Melbourne Rebels in Round Four of Super Rugby Pacific.

Harry McLaughlin-Phillips will start at flyhalf with Tom Lynagh shifting to the bench to play a finisher’s role at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

The Reds have also made a change in the front-row with prop Sef Fa’agase being dealt a four-week suspension on Tuesday night by a SANZAAR Judicial Committee.

Experienced Fijian international Peni Ravai steps into a starting role at prop against the Rebels.

In addition, there are two changes in the reserves with prop George Blake bolstering the front-row stocks and Wallaby Jordan Petaia returning after one game off following an HIA in Round Two.

Petaia’s recall on the bench means Junior Wallabies winger Tim Ryan is available to play for Brothers against Randwick in the Australian Club Championship match at Brisbane's Crosby Park on Saturday afternoon.

Reds head coach Les Kiss says the team’s depth at flyhalf is a positive.

“We’re very fortunate to have the options we do at No.10. Tom has had a couple of good games starting and this is an opportunity for Harry to start,” Kiss said.

“Jordie’s return gives us good cover in the backline for a number of positions.”
 Kiss says the Rebels are a strong opponent.

“It’s a big challenge. As a forward pack, the Rebels have found their mojo and allowed their backline to play,” Kiss said.

“It’s really important for us to present a connected defensive line and have a strong set piece set a good base for us.”

The Reds are coming off a 25-19 win over the Chiefs while the Rebels have beaten Moana Pasifika and the Western Force in their previous two games.

Isaac Henry, who retains his spot at inside centre, says the nature of the competition means the Reds have quickly moved on from the Chiefs match.

“Friday night is crucial. All our attention and focus is on this game. It’s a new week,” Henry said.

The strong defence in the closing minutes to complete the win over the Chiefs was a “confidence booster”, said Henry, who also gained confidence personally in a return to the side.

“It’s been a tough couple of years. Four or five injuries have put me on the sideline but the time has also taught me a lot about myself, this team and how super grateful I am to be a Queenslander and to put on this jersey,” Henry said.

Fa’agase inadvertently made direct contact with the head of a Chiefs player late in the first half last Saturday night.

A three-person SANZAAR Judicial Committee heard submissions from the player and his legal representative, Mark Martin KC.

After a detailed review, the citing was upheld at a red card level.

After taking into account mitigating factors such as the player’s remorse, disciplinary history and conduct throughout the hearing, the sanction was reduced from six to four weeks.

 Fa’agase is suspended up to and including 12 April.

Queensland Reds v Melbourne Rebels

Friday 15 March

AAMI Park, Melbourne

6:35pm AEST

Watch live via Stan Sport 

1.    Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji

2.    Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints

3.    Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles

4.    Seru Uru – Wests – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji – Namoli Rugby Club, Fiji

5.    Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes

6.    Liam Wright (cc) – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School - Easts

7.    Fraser McReight – Brothers – Brisbane Grammar School – Albany Creek Brumbies

8.    Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils

9.    Tate McDermott (cc) University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club

10.   Harry McLaughlin-Phillips - Souths – Brisbane Boys’ College – Gunnedah Red Devils

11.   Mac Grealy – University of Queensland – Downlands College – Souths Toowoomba

12:    Isaac Henry - Wests - Brisbane Boys' College - Kenmore Bears

13.    Josh Flook – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College - Brothers

14.    Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland

15.    Jock Campbell – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders


16. Josh Nasser – University of Queensland – St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace-Easts

17. George Blake - Bond University - The Southport School - Fasi Maufanga Eels, Tonga

18. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen - Norths - Wellington College, NZ 

19. Cormac Daly - Norths – Ul Riada, Ireland – North Kildare/Kilcock GAA, Ireland

20. John Bryant - Souths - St Laurence’s College - Souths

21. Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School - Souths

22. Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College, England – Richmond Rugby Club

23. Jordan Petaia – Wests – Brisbane State High School