Super Rugby AU second season starts this weekend and what a way to kick off the tournament with the old rivals clashing on Friday.
” The Battle of the Border” maybe explain the rivalry between these two sides of Tim Horan comment on facing the NSW,”“It’s still the biggest rugby game of the year for Queenslanders,”
Well we expect nothing less than a massive clash when they meet once again on Friday.
Early in the season us outside Australia maybe do not have an idea where the sides stand which actually makes this match more interesting.
What we do know is that both sides has gone through a transformation in the last few years. The Waratahs are building a new team with exciting youngster that is coming through and the Reds maybe a step ahead as Brad Thorn has been at it for a few seasons now.
In the Reds side there are three players that can make their debut for the franchise. Hooker Richie Asiata, lock Ryan Smith and outside back Ilaisa Droasese all are named on the bench.
Alex Mafi will start his 50th match for the Reds which will be a memorable moment for the hooker.
We will also see Feao Fotuaika who will make his return to the game after 12 months on the sideline due to a foot injury.
At lock Sru Uru go down at lock with Salakaia-Loto still suspended for his red card against Argentina last year in the Tri-Nations.
We also see Scott-Young at blindside for Wright of is still sidelined with an ankle injury.
The exciting halfback partnership of O’Conner and McDermott will start the match with O’Conner taking the captains armband for this match.
With three Wallabies at the back the Reds have plenty of fire-power. Daugunu and Petaia will be on the wings with the other Wallaby Paisami in the midfield.
The traveling Waratahs team will go to Queensland with a few young talent as coach Rob Penney has named his first team for the new season.
The Tahs have seven players that can make their debut this Friday. They will also go into the match with their newly named captain Gordon partnering with Will Harrison.
Perese will make his debut against his former team in the midfield alongside Joey Walton.
Maddocks was named at fullback and he will also run out in his 50th match for the Tahs. He will be joined in the back three by Alex Newsome and James Ramm.
There is a brand new lock combination in Sam Caird and Jack Whetton with Tom Horton sating in the hooker position this weekend.
Tizzano will take the number seven jersey and will join Jack Dempsey and Will Harris as the loose trio.
On the bench Sio Tatola, Jack Grant, Jeremy Williams and Tane Edmed will make their NSW Waratahs debuts when they come on later in the match.
Prediction: Well first game of the season we go with home-side, maybe next week we can make a better recommendation for you, Reds by 10
REDS: Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Feao Fotuaika, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Jock Campbell
Replacements: Richie Asiata*, Harry Hoopert, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith*, Tuania Tali Taualima, Moses Sorovi, Bryce Hegarty, Ilaisa Droasese*
WARATAHS: Angus Bell, Tom Horton, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Sam Caird, Jack Whetton, Will Harris, Carlo Tizzano, Jack Dempsey, Jake Gordon (c), Will Harrison, James Ramm, Joey Walton, Izaia Perese, Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks
Replacements: Dave Porecki, Tetera Faulkner, Sio Tatola, Jeremy Williams, Hugh Sinclair, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Mark Nawaqanitawase