Tahs tell Perese to make mark against Reds

·2-min read

Izaia Perese let the occasion get the better of him as a reckless late tackle earnt the NSW Waratahs recruit a red card in his Super Rugby AU return.

He's watched his team struggle in three games since but now the former Queensland Reds talent is back to face his old side again and has been given every chance to "put his stamp on the game" as the Tahs attempt to arrest a horror run of form.

A one-time Wallabies tourist, Perese was handed a one-year deal after his rugby league foray with Brisbane was halted over a drugs charge.

He'll have every chance to prove himself against the competition's form side, named at No.12 in a new-look midfield with Lalakai Foketi for Saturday's clash at Stadium Australia.

They'll match up against incumbent Wallabies midfielders Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia, while fellow Wallaby Filipo Daugunu is back on the wing along with Suliasi Vunivalu to form a devastating Reds backline.

"We know (Perese) is a damaging player on both sides of the ball; they (the coaches) just want to get him involved as much as they can and look for him to make a stamp on the game," Waratahs captain and winger Alex Newsome said.

"It was a disappointing night for him, round one against the former team, but the silver lining is it's given him three weeks to train hard and he's in really good nick and I'm excited to play outside him.

"He's a professional, he's moved past the red card ... playing outside them gives me a lot of confidence so I'm expecting some good ball in attack."

The Waratahs have benefited from the presence of Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and his support staff in Sydney this week, while Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos admitted their form was a "concern for everyone".

"Morale has been really good," Newsome insisted.

"We're not performing as we'd like, but it's been a really good week with Dave Rennie in camp and the guys are really excited."

Newsome admitted the unbeaten Reds had seemingly improved each week since beating his team 41-7 to begin the season but said an address from Waratahs great Matt Burke earlier in the week had set the scene.

"He talked about the history and having confidence in ourselves to do the job," he said.