AAP Rugby

Petaia, O’Connor paired for Reds trial

By AAP Newswire

Queensland's new-look attack will be unveiled in a Super Rugby trial game more than 200km inland of Brisbane after Jordan Petaia was named to face the Waratahs in Dalby.

The 19-year-old was injured in his second game for the Reds last season but sensationally returned during the World Cup, replacing James O'Connor for the quarter-final.

That pair will combine against the Waratahs on Friday night though, with O'Connor looking to build on his confident return at No.12 last weekend and Petaia set to start at outside centre.

Petaia has been hard to spot at preseason training, coach Brad Thorn carefully ensuring his young charge returns fitter and stronger after a hamstring complaint followed the foot injury that ended his Super Rugby season last year.

Previously powered by the surging runs of Samu Kerevi, the Reds will look to that new combination for a different way forward after the former captain's move to Japan.

And Thorn anticipates the teenager won't take long to make his mark.

"It was tough losing him about five minutes into round two (last year) but it was great he finished on a high ... (as) one of the better performers for the Wallabies I felt," Thorn said.

"He's a special talent and adds a lot to the team ... we've just been careful and before Christmas he hardly touched a footy.

"I'd say he'll be pretty darn rusty, but it doesn't seem to take long for him to progress."

Brumbies pick-up Henry Speight and Jock Campbell will start on the wings following incumbent Filipo Daugunu's five-match suspension for a dangerous tackle late in their big defeat of the Rebels.

New captain Liam Wright said Daugunu's punishment would be a "line in the sand" for a side that's lacked discipline in previous years.

Isaac Lucas will wear No.10 and Bryce Hegarty will start at fullback, the pair to be tested by a strong Waratahs side featuring Kurtley Beale at fullback, Michael Hooper in the backrow and new captain Rob Simmons.

Queensland: Bryce Hegarty, Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, James O'Connor, Henry Speight, Isaac Lucas, Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright (capt), Angus Scott-Young, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Blyth, Taniela Tupou, Alex Mafi, Dane Zander. Reserves: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Dave Feao, Josh Nasser, Ryan Smith, Seru Uru, Moses Sorovi, Hamish Stewart, Ilaisa Droasese, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Sam Wallis, Hunter Paisami.