Queensland Reds to bring a ‘State of Origin’ feel to their clash against the NSW Waratahs

The Reds have a point to prove in Friday’s Super Rugby Pacific clash against the Waratahs.

Queensland co-captain Liam Wright has been cleared of serious shoulder damage in good news for a Reds side aiming to “smash” the NSW Waratahs at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night.

Wright hurt his shoulder in the Reds’ 23-5 Super Rugby Pacific first-round weekend win over the Melbourne Rebels and watched the entire second half from the bench at Suncorp Stadium.

However, Reds lock Angus Blyth on Monday said scans of Wright’s shoulder were favourable.

“There’s no damage there, so we’ll just see how he goes this week and hopefully he can play (on Friday night),” Blyth said.

Wallabies centre Hunter Paisami (knee) remains in doubt after also missing the sometimes scrappy win over the Rebels.

“It was good to get the job done on Saturday; get a win, tick that off and move on to our next job this week,” Blyth said.

That “job” is also somewhat of a revenge mission after the Waratahs – 40-10 winners over Fijian Drua last Friday night – beat the Reds in a pre-season trial less than two weeks ago in Roma.

Queensland Reds to bring a ‘State of Origin’ feel to their clash against the NSW Waratahs

Liam Wright has been cleared of serious shoulder damage. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

“They came out and bruised us in the first half, which we didn’t respond to as well as we could have,” Blyth said.

“They’ve improved immensely (since last season). It’s a new year; you can’t look at teams on last year’s form, you’ve got to take them for what they are now.

“All the boys are really looking forward to it.”

And with good reason, with the rivalry between Queensland and NSW always cranked up a notch by passionate Reds coach Brad Thorn, who will again bring a “State of Origin” feel to this week’s preparations.

“Everyone has that Queensland pride, that Queensland spirit and we don’t want to let Queensland down,” Blyth said.

“We represent the whole state, from the Gold Coast all the way up to the top end, so we’re representing the people of Queensland and that gives us pride and gives us a fire in the belly and a real reason to go out there and smash some people on Friday night.”

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