The Queensland Reds begin their campaign against the Melbourne Rebels at their fortress, Suncorp Stadium, on February 19th. Winners of Super Rugby AU last season they will be looking to extend this form into the expanded inaugural Super Rugby Pacific competition. Due to ongoing restrictions with Covid 19 they will play all the Australian domestic matches, including newcomers Fijian Drua, in the first half of the draw with the Trans-Tasman matches in the second half. Similar to last year the New Zealand matches, including newcomers Moana Pasifika, will be at the back end and it’s here where the Queensland Reds want to improve on their solitary win against our Kiwi brothers.
Preseason training at Ballymore has been hot and humid over the summer which will have the boys rearing to go. They have two trial matches against the Western Force and NSW Waratahs, both of which will now be played in Queensland. Firstly, they will play a closed trial against the Western Force at Ballymore that will be live-streamed to Reds’ email subscribers on February 5th. A week later, on February 12th, the Roma Echidnas will host Queensland verse New South Wales as the centrepiece of the second annual Santos Festival of Rugby.
Due to his breakout year with the Wallabies last year, 23-year-old Tate McDermott (below), will assume co-captain duties with Liam Wright (above). Reds coach Brad Thorn said: “They both embody what it means to be a ‘Reds Man’ -they’re humble and hard-working who uphold the standards of the maroon jersey.”
McDermott said: “It is a tremendous honour to be announced as a co-captain of the Queensland Reds alongside Liam Wright.
“To be etched into the fabric of Queensland Rugby, in company with many former great captains of the game, is something my family and I will forever treasure. Upon reflection of my initial chat with Thorny, our job now turns to unleashing the untapped potential within our side.”