Lynagh name lives on as Reds blood teenage No.10
Eddie Jones sees plenty of Wallabies great Michael Lynagh in young No.10 Tom Lynagh, who will make his Super Rugby Pacific debut against the Hurricanes in Townsville.
The 19-year-old is following in the footsteps of his illustrious father and will play his first game for the Reds on Saturday, while James O'Connor completes his rehabilitation from off-season ankle surgery.
Father Michael played 100 games for Queensland and won the 1991 World Cup with the Wallabies during his 72-Test career.
Tom was born in Italy and grew up in England but opted to relocate to Ballymore in 2021 and pursue his own Wallabies career.
He impressed in the pre-season to leapfrog last year's back-up No.10 Lawson Creighton and will be given every chance to flourish in Townsville against the Wellington-based team.
"It's a great story," Australia coach Jones, who will be at the match, told AAP. "The son of one of the greats playing in Townsville, a great rugby town for Australian and Queensland rugby.
"To make his debut there is fantastic."
Jones came close to offering Lynagh's brother Louis a Test debut in his previous role as England mentor.
He said there was little chance of wooing the winger back to Australia too, but the younger playmaker was a chip off the old block.
"I watched him in (a trial game in) Narrabri and club rugby (for University of Queensland last year)," Jones said of Tom.
"Nice skills, outstanding kicker of the ball like his father and has the potential to be a very good player."
The Reds lost six straight games against New Zealand opponents to finish last season, an O'Connor injury derailing a side that had fought with the ACT Brumbies to be considered Australia's best.
The Reds led the Hurricanes 17-0 but lost 30-17 last year, while the Brumbies kicked on to just miss the Super final.
Jones knows more is needed to snap a Bledisloe Cup drought that has dragged into a 21st year and has challenged the Reds to set the tone for Australian rugby in Townsville's season opener.
"Aussie teams want to set the tone; we haven't won the Bledisloe Cup for 20-odd years and the tone can be set in Super Rugby," he said.
"Every week that we have a team win gives our boys a bit more confidence."
Reds co-captain Liam Wright's (concussion) miserable run of outs continues while fullback Jock Campbell and winger Suliasi Vunivalu both have minor ankle complaints.
Ryan Smith has avoided surgery on a shoulder injury and is fit to play in a boost for their flagging lock stocks.
"Turbo's (Tom) a good kid; came in last year and was a bit of a shock to him playing with the big boys but he's really stood up since then and showed he belongs," Smith said.
"He's pretty flashy with his kicks and strong carries, passionate and keen to continue on that famous Queensland name."
QUEENSLAND REDS: Dane Zander, Matt Faessler, Zane Nonggorr, Ryan Smith, Lopeti Faifua, Seru Uru, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, Tom Lynagh, Filipo Daugunu, Isaac Henry, Hunter Paisami, Josh Flook, Jordan Petaia. Bench: Richie Asiata, Sef Fa'agase, Peni Ravai, Connor Anderson, Kalani Thomas, Lawson Creighton, Taj Annan.