Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 1:00 PM
Lachlan Grey

They're calling it a "new era for Queensland rugby" up at Ballymore but Saturday's clash between the Reds and Waratahs looms more like the rivalry of old - one with "plenty of hatred".

Last week's trial saw Queensland romp home 32-7 off the back of a dominant first half and number eight Harry Wilson is happily stoking fires ahead of their Super Rugby Pacific opener.

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"There's nothing better than the Queensland v NSW rivalry. It's Round 1 of the year, there's no other footy codes on at the moment and I'd love to see Caxton Street full before the game and obviously post-game for a few celebratory drinks after," Wilson told media on Tuesday.

"We're calling it the new era of Queensland Rugby so for us it all begins now under Les Kiss' leadership and we really want to start well and try to get one up over the old foe.

"He (Kiss) really is trying to instill the rivalry of old. On Monday you could see he was getting pretty fired up and had to tame himself down a little bit. He's fired up for it, we're all going to be too."

There's no shortage of motivation from the coaches box with Kiss a former Waratahs assistant and Queensland Origin winger well versed in the rivalry.

There's no shortage for Wilson either with Wallabies rival Langi Gleeson likely to mark up as his opposite in sky blue.

"Obviously off the field everyone's all mates and we've played with each other but the moment you put on the maroon jersey and they put on the blue jersey, there is hatred there," Wilson said.

It's two (teams) going at each other and you just want to win for your state and win for your mate next to you … I'm sure there'll be plenty of hatred and plenty of people putting their body on the line this weekend.

"I guess for me as a number eight who wants to be playing for the Wallabies he (Gleeson) has obviously leapfrogged me there last year so that hurt a bit. He's played some really good footy over the past 12-18 months so that's a bit of extra motivation.

"When you see someone the same position on the other team, you want to go after him, you want to try and prove a point … but also for the benefit of the team and not going out of structure to do that."

The Reds and Waratahs will name their Round 1 sides tomorrow (Wednesday 21 February) with all Super Rugby Pacific games LIVE and exclusive on Stan Sport.