Team Announcement: Moana Pasifika vs Queensland Reds

Team Announcement: Moana Pasifika vs Queensland Reds

The Queensland Reds have confirmed their matchday-23 for this Friday night’s historic Super Rugby Pacific Round 8 clash against Moana Pasifika in Samoa. 

Head coach Brad Thorn has made seven changes to his starting side, with Samoa’s Apia Park set to host Moana Pasifika for the first time. 

Jake Upfield will make his Queensland and Super Rugby Pacific starting debut at blindside flanker, with skipper Liam Wright ruled out with a hand injury, while James O'Connor will run on at inside centre in place of Isaac Henry who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Suliasi Vunivalu returns to the starting side on the wing, as do props Sef Fa’agase and Zane Nonggorr, with Jordan Petaia celebrating his 50th Queensland and Super Rugby cap.

Connor Vest and Ryan Smith make for a new-look lock combination as the Reds look to snap a three-game losing streak on Friday afternoon. 

Matt Faessler will start at hooker alongside Fa’agase and Nonggorr, with Fa’agase making his return from suspension. 

Queensland will take on Moana Pasifika at 2:05pm AEST on Friday. 
Moana Pasifika v Queensland Reds, Friday 14 April, Apia Park, Samoa, 2:05pm AEST.
Watch Live on Stan Sport.

  1. Sef Fa’agase – Sunnybank – Shailer Park State High School – Beaudesert Warriors
  2. Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints
  3. Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles
  4. Connor Vest – University of Queensland – Grafton High School – Grafton Junior Rugby Club
  5. Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes
  6. Jake Upfield* – The Southport School
  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 – University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club
  10. Lawson Creighton – Brothers – Padua College
  11. Jordan Petaia** – Wests – Brisbane State High School
  12. James O'Connor – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
  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. Richie Asiata – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School
  17. Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji
  18. Phransis Sula-Siaosi – Souths – St Joseph’s Nudgee College
  19. Lopeti Faifua – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
  20. Connor Anderson – Brisbane State High School – Everton Park Roosters
  21. Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School – Souths
  22. Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College – Richmond Rugby Club
  23. Mac Grealy – University of Queensland – Downlands College – Souths Toowoomba

*denotes Queensland and Super Rugby starting debut
**denotes 50th Queensland and Super Rugby cap


Moana Pasifika

Moana Pasifika Head Coach Aaron Mauger has made a number of tactical and forced changes in the face injuries to key players to the side that will face the Reds.

Isi Tu’ungafasi will make his debut start for Moana Pasifika where he’ll line up alongside Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Manono, Vaimoso, Mo’otutua) and Samiuela Moli in the front row.

Mike McKee comes into the second row, replacing the injured Samuel Slade, to form the locking duo with Michael Curry. 

The signing of the season for Moana Pasifika comes in the form of blindside Miracle Faiilagi.

Faiilagi will be joined in the loose forwards by captain Solomone Funaki, who has been the consistent leader for Moana Pasifika all season, and lining up for his 2023 debut, Niko Jones (Moata’a, Safune. Leone) comes in to the starting XV to complete the loose trio.

Moana Pasifika v Reds

Friday 14th April
Apia Park Stadium
Gates open 3.30pm
Kick off 5:05pm Apia time (4.05pm NZT, 2.05pm AEST)

  1. Ezekiel Lindenmuth
  2. Samiuela Moli
  3. Isi Tu’ungafasi
  4. Michael Curry
  5. Mike McKee
  6. Miracle Faiilagi
  7. Niko Jones
  8. Solomone Funaki (c)
  9. Ereatara Enari
  10. Lincoln McClutchie
  11. Neria Fomai
  12. Danny Toala
  13. Levi Aumua
  14. Timoci Tavatavanawai
  15. William Havili
  16. Luteru Tolai
  17. Abraham Pole
  18. Suetena Asomua
  19. Potu Leavasa
  20. Sione Tu’ipulotu
  21. Manu Paea
  22. D’Angelo Leuila
  23. Fine Inisi


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