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Reds keen to Establish Anzac Tradition with the Blues

Reds keen to Establish Anzac Tradition with the Blues

All BlacksApril 24, 2024

Reds coach Les Kiss wants to see an Anzac DHL Super Rugby Pacific game with the Blues become an entrenched fixture between the sides.

The teams meet in Brisbane on Saturday, and the Reds will acknowledge Queensland's 60 rugby representatives who have served overseas with a one-off Anzac jersey issued for the game.

Reds coach Les Kiss told rugby.com.au, "It'll be a special occasion. We know we're playing a bloody good team. It would be great to create a similar fixture year-on-year and create that tradition. 

"It's not missed on our boys. The research that's gone into it adds depth and understanding to something bigger than the game.

"It's going to be a special day and the jersey that's been created, the boys love it, and it'll [the game] be fought in the spirit of respect of the past."

Reds and Wallabies utility James O'Connor, whose grandfather served with New Zealand's 7th Anti-Tank Regiment in Crete and North Africa, was injured, captured and escaped, said, "We can't fathom what it was like to be in a battle or be in war at all and we just try to emulate what the people in service do.

A full platter of #SuperRugbyPacific for Anzac Weekend Round!

Which game are you looking forward to most? pic.twitter.com/RUz8oZTEdZ

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 23, 2024

"They live by discipline, by honour, by courage, and that's what we try to do on the rugby field. When we live up to those expectations usually you find you're on the good part of the scoreboard."

To achieve that goal, the Reds need to overcome their injuries and frustrations. The latest loss for the side is Jordan Petaia. He suffered a Super Rugby-ending shoulder injury when attempting to tackle Highlanders' wing Timoci Tavatavanawai during last weekend's 31-0 win at home.

Kiss said, "It's a blow without a doubt, a player of his calibre, the types of game he brings for us, his physical size, his power."

His injury compounds the absence of loose forward Fraser McReight and halfback Tate McDermott, who are suspended. Centre Josh Flook could also miss a start.

Kiss said Flook was recovering from a shoulder injury against Moana Pasifika.

"It's not structure, it's just that extra pain there, so we'll see how he goes, but it looks promising at this stage.

If he is ruled out, Hunter Paisami could play at centre, while another possibility in the midfield is O'Connor, who could start at second five-eighths, in his return from injury.

Reds v Blues: Saturday 27 April, 9.35pm NZT, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

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