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.
- Sef Fa’agase – Sunnybank – Shailer Park State High School – Beaudesert Warriors
- Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints
- Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles
- Connor Vest – University of Queensland – Grafton High School – Grafton Junior Rugby Club
- Ryan Smith – Brothers – St Patrick’s College Shorncliffe – Caboolture Snakes
- Jake Upfield* – The Southport School
- Fraser McReight – Brothers – Brisbane Grammar School – Albany Creek Brumbies
- Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils
- Tate McDermott – University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club
- Lawson Creighton – Brothers – Padua College
- Jordan Petaia** – Wests – Brisbane State High School
- James O'Connor – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
- Josh Flook – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
- Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
- Jock Campbell – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders
- Richie Asiata – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School
- Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji
- Phransis Sula-Siaosi – Souths – St Joseph’s Nudgee College
- Lopeti Faifua – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
- Connor Anderson – Brisbane State High School – Everton Park Roosters
- Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School – Souths
- Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College – Richmond Rugby Club
- 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 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)
- Ezekiel Lindenmuth
- Samiuela Moli
- Isi Tu’ungafasi
- Michael Curry
- Mike McKee
- Miracle Faiilagi
- Niko Jones
- Solomone Funaki (c)
- Ereatara Enari
- Lincoln McClutchie
- Neria Fomai
- Danny Toala
- Levi Aumua
- Timoci Tavatavanawai
- William Havili
- Luteru Tolai
- Abraham Pole
- Suetena Asomua
- Potu Leavasa
- Sione Tu’ipulotu
- Manu Paea
- D’Angelo Leuila
- Fine Inisi