By HARRY CLARKE
SOME of the biggest names in Australian rugby will play before bush crowds in Roma this Saturday night, as the town hosts a trial match between the Queensland Reds and the NSW Waratahs to coincide with the annual Santos Roma Rugby 7s competition.
Veteran play maker James O’Connor has been named as Reds fly half and will be joined in the Queensland backline by fellow Wallabies star Jordan Petaia, playing on the wing.
Fast footed front row icon Taniela Tupou, nicknamed the Tongan Thor, will start the trial game on the bench alongside Darling Downs rugby products Harry Hoopert and Mac Grealy.
Also from the Darling Downs, Hamish Stewart will start at inside centre. See the full Reds and Waratahs team lists below.
The annual Roma Rugby 7s competition this year evolves into the inaugural Santos Festival of Rugby, now a two day event from February 11-12, held at the grounds local rugby club, the Roma Echidnas.
Social and competitive teams from across Queensland will be taking part before the exhibition trial match between the Reds and Waratahs on Saturday night, kicking off at 7.30pm.
WATCH: Country Caller coverage of 2021 Roma 7s tournament
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “We’re excited to be playing in Roma this weekend.
“Off the back of our Reds to Regions visits, we’re looking forward to strengthening our connection with regional communities across Queensland.
“The Waratahs will provide tough competition. With the season kicking off next week it’ll be a good contest between both sides.
“It’s great we can support country towns and the people who live there by playing games like this – as the Queensland Reds, it’s who we represent,” said Thorn.