Super Rugby match preview: Reds v Rebels
Last Updated: 01/06/13 12:52pm
The Reds have made five changes to their starting line-up ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the Rebels in Brisbane on Saturday.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has reformed his back row with Ed Quirk and Beau Robinson coming in on the flanks, while James Hanson returns to the front row for his 50th start in a Queensland jersey.
Jono Lance is unavailable having sustained a neck injury, paving the way for playmaker Ben Lucas to start at full-back for the first time this season.
In the centres Ben Tapuai gets the nod to partner Anthony Faingaa with Chris Feauai-Sautia out with a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Rebels head coach Damien Hill names just one change to the side which beat the Waratahs 24-22 last time out.
James O'Connor makes a much anticipated return to the Rebels starting line-up at fly half after an injury lay-off.
The inclusion of O'Connor means Bryce Hegarty is demoted to the bench as the Rebels seeks a third successive victory.
Tom English retains his place on the right wing after scoring a brace last weekend and will look for more of the same with the Rebels chasing a first win against the 2011 champions.
Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 James Horwill (capt), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson,1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue,19 Radike Samo, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Mike Harris.
Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Lachlan Mitchell, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (capt), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Bryce Hegarty, 22 Kimami Sitauti.
Reds Director of Rugby Ewen McKenzie
"We're blessed here in Queensland with the amount of quality backrowers we have available to us and this depth really allows us the opportunity to use various combinations and implement different strategies relevant to our opposition."
Rebels head coach Damien Hill
"James [O'Connor] was desperate to play last week, however, it was not in his or the club's best interest to play when the injury had not fully recovered.
"Leaving the Wallabies aside he is desperate for a win against the Reds with this group."