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'He's very arty in way he plays': Fraser paints positive picture of Wilson combo with Wallaby partnership 'the end goal'

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25th March, 2024
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Fraser McReight wants to be joined at the hip in Wallabies gold with Harry Wilson.

The Queensland Reds’ “bash brothers” have taken their partnership to new heights under coach Les Kiss, combining with fellow back-rower Liam Wright to become arguably the most well-rounded in the competition.

McReight unseated Michael Hooper to become a Test regular last year, while 12-Test No.8 Wilson has fallen down the pecking order after bursting on to the scene in 2020.

A deflating loss in Perth to the Western Force took some gloss off the fifth-placed Reds’ brilliant start to the season (3-2), and Wilson uncharacteristically coughed up a couple of kick offs that led to tries.

Saturday’s Brisbane clash with the ACT Brumbies (third, 4-1) is an opportunity to rebound, with new Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt a keen observer.

“When we play good football together you can see we’re obviously off each other’s hip,” McReight said. 


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“But I think it’s just trying to be consistent and making sure that we’re doing it week in, week out. 

“The goal is to do it with each other in Test football, that’s probably the end goal.

“We played together when we were 12 … played schoolboys together eight years ago, so eight years of football, going from colts to men’s football.

“We’re great mates off the field as well, so we’re able to have good chats and understand what we need to be better and how to improve each other.”

McReight said the arrival of Kiss, and his willingness for players to use their creativity, had helped their pairing flourish.


“It’s something that we’ve always had,” he said. 

“‘Wilso’ loves his offloads, loves his line-breaks, and he’s very arty in the way he likes to play his football – he expresses himself really well. 

“My strength is support; I know where he’s going to be and I’ll try and position myself around him.

“If you look back we’ve definitely done it in the past few years, it’s just the way we’ve changed our game plan and been able to focus and have a bit more structure in our attack. 

“Like Les says, he doesn’t want to shy away from our strengths, he wants to focus on it, push towards it.”

The Brumbies boast reigning Wallabies player of the year Rob Valetini and exciting new talent Charlie Cale in their back row and are fresh off a brilliant 60-21 defeat of Moana Pasifika.


“They’re very athletic … got a very good combination in terms of the different balance in the back row like here at the Reds,” McReight said. 

“It’s a great test for us, and if we want to get back to premiership contenders it’s going to be an important battle on the weekend.”