Reds take fresh Fiji approach with top four on the line

Flying winger Floyd Aubrey will start for the first time as part of sweeping changes by Les Kiss in a must-win game for the Queensland Reds' top-four Super Rugby Pacific hopes.

The Marist-schooled, Murgon-raised Indigenous product will be given his first big chance in Suva on Saturday since choosing rugby over the NRL, with Kiss managing dynamic winger Tim Ryan on the bench and resting Mac Grealy.

Suliasi Vunivalu will start on the other wing, and Seru Uru returns from a broken thumb on the bench. 

Test hooker Matt Faessler and banged-up No.13 Josh Flook have also been rested.

Josh Nasser and Taj Annan will replace that pair, while Tate McDermott will start at halfback and James O'Connor shapes as a key late-game figure off the bench.

Two wins behind the fourth-placed Chiefs with three rounds remaining, the Reds must win in Fiji to remain in the hunt for a top-four finish and a home final.

"We're not watching the ladder intently and getting hijacked by it, but we know every win we put on the board puts pressure on other people," Kiss said.

"Get this win, it makes things possible.

"We've tried to go there fresh. A lot of lads are getting their first, second, third chance.

"It's a chance to change tack a bit."

Ryan has scored six tries in his past three games, but Aubrey poses his own threat in what is expected to be another wet Fijian affair.

"He's an instinctive type of player, those conditions often can suit him," Kiss said.

"He could do anything out of the blue, for sure." 

Meanwhile, Argentinian signing Enrique Pieretto will start for the injury-ravaged Waratahs against the Western Force on Saturday, barely a week after he arrived in the country from the Glasgow Warriors on a loan deal.

Enrique Pieretto.
Argentinian prop Enrique Pieretto has been parachuted into the injury-hit Waratahs' front row.

Mark Nawaqanitawase will play fullback and Izaia Perese is back on the bench for captain Jake Gordon's 100th game.

The Force have made only minor tweaks to the team that beat the Drua last week, and can enter the top eight with victory at home.

The big guns are back for the Brumbies, Allan Alaalatoa to partner James Slipper in the front row and Noah Lolesio back in the No.10 to face the Crusaders in Canberra.

Sitting third, eight points clear of the Reds, victory would all but sew up a top-four finish for Stephen Larkham's contenders.

Flanker Brad Wilkin returns for the sixth-placed Melbourne Rebels after a long-term hamstring injury, and can do the Reds a favour by beating the Chiefs at home on Friday.

Prop Pone Fa’amausili is back in the fray after a one-week loan to the Waratahs, on the bench, with Taniela Tupou (concussion) to miss the clash.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store