Brad Thorn’s Reds were once the hunters. Now, they’re the hunted as the baby Waratahs take on the highly-rated Reds in the Super Rugby AU season opener in Brisbane. Live coverage!
Brad Thorn’s Reds were once the hunters. Now, they’re the hunted as the baby Waratahs take on the highly-rated Reds in the Super Rugby AU season opener in Brisbane at 7:45pm AEDT.
Stranger still, James O’Connor will captain the Reds following the pre-season injury to back-rower Liam Wright.
Follow all the live action in our blog below.
The Reds fell just short in the inaugural Super Rugby AU final, going down narrowly to the Brumbies in Canberra last September.
But they’re expected to go one better in 2021, with many of their young guns, including Wallabies back-row pairing Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson and Test midfield combo Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia, another year older.
They will take on an inexperienced Waratahs side, which has lost Test captain Michael Hooper and Wallabies centurion Rob Simmons from their squad.
Halfback Jake Gordon captains the side, which features just six Wallabies.
And even though the Waratahs received another blow earlier in the week with news Jack Dempsey is leaving the club at season’s end, the Waratahs will fancy causing an early ambush in Brisbane given Taniela Tupou will come off the bench and NRL recruit Suli Vunavalu has been stood down.
REDS (15-1): Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, James O’Connor, Tate McDermott; Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Angus Scott-Young, Seru Uru, Angus Blyth, Feao Fotuaika, Alex Mafi, Dane Zander
Reserves: Richie Asiata, Harry Hoopert, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Tuania Taii Tualima, Moses Sorovi, Bryce Hegarty, Ilaisa Droasese
WARATAHS (15-1): Jack Maddocks, Alex Newsome, Izaia Perese, Joey Walton, James Ramm, Will Harrison, Jake Gordon; Jack Dempsey, Carlo Tizzano, Will Harris, Jack Whetton, Sam Caird, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Tom Horton, Angus Bell
Reserves: David Porecki, Tetera Faulkner, Sio Tatola, Jeremy Williams, Hugh Sinclair, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Mark Nawaqanitawase