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Super Rugby: Pride on the line at Suncorp

There is no love lost between the Reds and Waratahs, meaning a fiery opening game of the season could be on the cards at Suncorp Stadium.

The traditional rivals will both be keen to start the season on a positive note, but it is a tough looking opening few rounds for the Waratahs in particular.

They have to take on the Brumbies and Crusaders twice in the opening 10 weeks and are in need of a confidence boost first-up.

The Reds will be hoping to make the play-offs in 2024 and can be backed at 1.20 to do so, while the Waratahs are available at 1.61.

But for now it is all about starting the season on the front foot, making Saturday’s clash even more important.

·         What - Reds v Waratahs
·         Where - Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
·         When - 20:05 (AEDT), Saturday 24th February 2024
·         How to watch - Stan Sport
·         Odds - Reds 1.47, Waratahs 2.70

New era begins for Reds

For the Reds it is the start of a new era under head coach Les Kiss, who has returned to Australia from overseas to replace Brad Thorn.

Their form had not been great at the end of last season, and they have lost their last four Super Rugby Pacific matches.

The Reds have also lost four of the last five matches they have played in Queensland, including the last two.

However, that will all be consigned to the history books and the Reds have the chance to star afresh under the leadership of Kiss.

Kiss says he is well aware of the threat that the Waratahs possess, and there will be no complacency in the Reds camp heading into the game.

Kiss also has some tough selection calls to make for the opener. Jock Campbell has impressed at fullback in pre-season, but Jordan Petaia could get the nod ahead of him.

Meanwhile it also remains to be seen who will take the No.10 jersey for the Reds. Teenage starlet Harry McLaughlin-Phillips has been catching the eye but may have to wait his turn.

Instead Tom Lynagh looks set to start against the Waratahs.

Waratahs out to cause an upset

The Waratahs go into the game as the underdogs, but there is plenty of hope for them.

The last time the two sides met back in May 2023, it was the Waratahs that came out on top with a 32-24 victory.

If the Waratahs are to edge another close game, they can be backed at 6.50 to win by 1-5 points, or 7.50 to win by 6-10.

The Waratahs have also won their last three games against Australian teams, and will be looking to make that four.

However, they have not picked up back-to-back wins against the Reds since back in May 2019.

It has been suggested that under-pressure Waratahs coach Darren Coleman will make the surprise decision to start exciting young fullback Max Jorgensen on the bench.

Jorgensen has had injury issues however and the Tahs are keen to ease him back. Instead Joey Walton is expected to start at fullback.

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