Reds deliver Daly dose in 27-year Super Rugby first

It's been 27 years since an Irishman started for the Queensland Reds.

The significance isn't lost on Cormac Daly as he prepares to follow in former Munster forward Peter Clohessy's footsteps on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium against the Highlanders.

Especially because the 25-year-old lock is still pinching himself to be playing professional rugby at all.

"I can't take anything for granted now so (I'm) just enjoying every moment, taking it all in and appreciating where I am," he told AAP on Thursday.

"It's something like 90 per cent homegrown talent here at the Reds; it's special how they do represent their state well, and to join a team like that is special, because it means they see something in you.

"And I do get on with the lads; they're good craic (fun), have a good sense of humour and are a bit different to the NSW boys.

"I'm a country boy and they're a bit closer to Irish than the boys back in Sydney."

Daly
The Reds' Irish addition Cormac Daly celebrates a victory against the Chiefs earlier this season.

The Kildare product grew up playing rugby with Hawthorn's Irish AFL star Conor Nash and was an under-20 national representative, signed to play for New York in the 2020 Major League season.

COVID-19 put a stop to that so Daly, a keen hurling and Gaelic football prospect as a junior, kept toiling for a top-flight chance in Ireland before deciding on a move to Sydney.

He was working in an office as a telecommunications project manager, but his reputation preceded him and former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles, coach at Randwick, won the race for his signature.

Daly played big minutes in a premiership-winning Shute Shield season, and new Reds boss Les Kiss, who coached him as a junior in Ireland, was watching.

A gut-busting effort in a trial game for the Reds against the Western Force - Daly played more minutes than anyone in the afternoon heat in Ballymore - consolidated his standing.

Effective so far off the bench, Seru Uru's thumb injury opened the door for Daly to start and he will play a key role as the Reds aim to snap a three-game Super Rugby Pacific losing streak.

The Reds are also without centre Josh Flook (shoulder), halfback and captain Tate McDermott (suspension) and standout flanker Fraser McReight (suspension).

A 3-1 start had the Reds eyeing top spot before their trio of losses brought them back to the pack.

The Highlanders (2-5) have lost their past four, including a 47-31 loss to Melbourne Rebels in their last outing.

"I'll just put my head down and go at it," Daly said of the task.

"It's a massive game for us, but you don't become a great team overnight and you don't become a bad team overnight."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.


Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
AU$10
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
AU$5
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
AU$99
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

SEVEN DAYS FREE
Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store