The Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies meet Friday in a contest between the only unbeaten teams after four rounds of Super Rugby Pacific, extending a rivalry which has become one of the strongest among Australian teams.
The Reds beat the Brumbies 19-16 in last season’s final of Super Rugby Australia with a try four minutes into stoppage time, ending a season in which the teams met three times and couldn’t be separated by more than three points.
Moana Pasifika will play the Hamilton-based Chiefs on Saturday in the only match in New Zealand.
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The Queensland Reds have confirmed their match-day-23 for their Round 3 Buildcorp Super W clash with the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday evening, kick-off at 4:05pm AEST.
Head coach Simon Craig has remained consistent in his selections this week, making minimal changes to the starting line-up and reserves.
Bond University’s Madi Schuck will earn her first spot in the starting XV at loosehead prop this week, coming in for the injured Alapeta Ngauamo.
Schuck’s elevation see’s Laina Cooper-Finau come into the squad in the reserves, while her Easts and frontrow partner Theresa Soloai has also been called into the reserves.
In the backs, centres Cecilia Smith and Malaela Su’a will swap jerseys this week, with the experienced Smith moving to inside centre and 16-year-old Su’a shifting to outside centre.
“We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to remain relatively consistent in our selections so far this season, which provides us with some stability week-to-week in what is a short competition,” said Craig.
“To lose Alapeta (Ngauamo) is unfortunate this week, she has been one of our top performers in her first season of Super W, but we’re lucky to have Madi (Schuck) ready to slot in at loosehead, and she has been impressive as a finisher over the last two weekends and I’m sure she will make the most of her opportunity.
“In the backs, we wanted to shift Cecilia Smith closer to the ruck and allow her experience as a ball player to provide us variety in attack, while in the reserves, our Easts duo of Laina (Cooper-Finau) and Theresa (Soloai) have been training hard and putting in the effort so it’s great to be able to reward them this weekend.
“After falling to the Fijiana this weekend, this is a big game for us. We need to go down to Canberra and ensure we deliver on our game plan and get the job done.”
The Reds will take on the Brumbies in Round 3 of Super W on Friday evening at GIO Stadium in Canberra, kicking off at 4:05pm AEST, followed by the Super Rugby Pacific match between the Reds and the Brumbies, which will be a rematch of the 2021 Super Rugby AU final.