The St George Queensland Reds have announced a 27 man squad for its upcoming tour of Argentina and South Africa. Having departed for Buenos Aires on Sunday 11 March, the Queensland Reds are preparing for its second overseas match against the Jaguares in as many years. The teamwill then head to Cape Town to play the Stormers, the first match the team has played in Cape Town since 2016.
The squad features the 23 players responsible for nabbing a 20-14 win over the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 10 March. Their win over the Bulls signalled their first consecutive success since 2014. The Reds managed to secure their win towards the conclusion of the game, when Queensland reserve hooker Alex Mafi executed a ferocious tackle on Springbok lock Lood de Jager and shook the ball loose just metres from the line.
Newly signed prop Ruan Smith will also be making an appearance, as well as hooker Andrew Ready, Number 8 Scott Higginbotham and utility back Ben Lucas. Higginbotham will be available for selection in the second week of the tour, at the conclusion of his three-match suspension. Meanwhile returning Reds utility Lucas is fit and pushing for selection after recovering from a knee injury sustained during pre-season training.
The Jaguares will certainly put up a fight, having started off their 2018 season strongly with a 38-28 win over the NSW Waratahs on Sunday 11 March. The Jaguares scored four tries in the opening quarter, including the the first five-pointer within 17 seconds, to rush to a 22-0 lead at Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires.
“The Jaguares were very impressive at the start of the game,” NSW captain Michael Hopper said. “They capitalised on opportunities and they put points on us very easily, too easily for our liking. The Queensland Reds play the Jaguares at Estadio Jose Amalfitani in Buenos Aires on at 7:40am on Sunday 18 March (AEST). They then take on the Stormers at Newlands in Cape Town at 1:15am on Sunday 25 March (AEST).
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