Reds lose young gun on Super Rugby eve
THE Queensland Reds have suffered a big injury blow ahead of their Super Rugby season opener with attacking weapon Izaia Perese set to miss six weeks with a knee injury.
Winger Perese took a knock to his knee during last week's trial match against the Fiji Warriors at Ballymore but played out the full match.
However, scans have revealed he suffered a partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament.
Surgery won't be required, but the Reds expect Perese will be out of action until at least their round eight trip to Canberra to face the ACT Brumbies.
It's a bitter pill for the 20-year-old, a two-time Wallabies tourist who was one of their best performers throughout pre-season.
Perese scored the winning try against Fiji to seal a 17-15 comeback while he also bagged three tries in an eye-catching Brisbane Global Rugby Tens campaign.
He was set to start on the wing against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday night but had also thrown his hat in for fullback, where coach Brad Thorn is likely to need a long-term replacement for Karmichael Hunt.
Perese's absence could open the door for debutant Filipo Daugunu, who is now in line for an elevation to the starting line-up for the Rebels clash.