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Kiss on Red alert for returning Tah danger Jorgensen

3 minute read

Les Kiss has seen enough of Max Jorgensen to know the returning NSW Waratahs gun could be the difference in his coaching debut for the Queensland Reds.

LALAKAI FOKETI.
LALAKAI FOKETI. Picture: Joe Allison/Getty Images

Les Kiss admits NSW Waratahs ace Max Jorgensen could ruin his Queensland Reds coaching debut.

The flying 19-year-old is set for a highly anticipated return from a fractured fibula in Saturday's Super Rugby Pacific opener at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The teenager survived 40 minutes in last week's trial game, his first action since being forced home early from the World Cup in France without featuring in any of Australia's games.

Named on the bench, Jorgensen could yet be thrust into the No.15 jersey after Waratahs centre Lalakai Foketi (neck) was injured at training on Thursday.

Either way Kiss, who has taken the reins from Brad Thorn at Ballymore, is on red alert.

"We've got to be careful, and if he's coming on later, it's going to be tough," Kiss said on Thursday before he was aware of Foketi's mishap.

"He's bloody dangerous and we're going to have to keep an eye on this one.

"It'll be a tight, tough encounter; he's going to come on and could be a difference.

"I've seen what he can do ... someone like Max who can light this game up could be the difference either way."

Kiss is a former Queensland representative rugby league winger who has coached in Europe, South Africa and as an assistant at the Waratahs.

He has inherited a mostly settled squad, but still had some major calls to make ahead of his first assignment.

Jordan Petaia will start ahead of the in-form Jock Campbell at fullback, while Tom Lynagh's body of work was enough to get him into the No.10 jersey ahead of emerging 19-year-old Harry McLaughlin-Phillips.

Kiss said there had been some tough conversations and hinted that Lynagh and McLaughlin-Phillips could be on the field at the same time on Saturday.

"We have two or three little options there," Kiss said.

"But one selection isn't finite, it's just a starting point."

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