Super Rugby: Reds host the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday
Last Updated: 05/04/14 12:40pm
Livewire Jamie-Jerry Taulagi will make his Super Rugby debut this weekend after being named on the wing for the Reds' match against the Western Force.
Taulagi's addition is one of two changes to the starting side that defeated the Stormers last weekend, with injuries to Dom Shipperley (hip flexor) and Lachie Turner (ankle) forcing a shuffle in the back three.
Taulagi will play on the wing, while Ben Lucas will earn his first start of the season at full-back.
Queensland Premier Grade player Taulagi scored 13 tries from 13 outings for University of Queensland in 2013 before signing a two-year deal with the Reds.
Reds coach Richard Graham said his addition to the side would provide them with another potent attacking threat, while Lucas had offered much as a replacement wing against the Stormers.
"The Reds have a strong history of giving opportunity to young players," said Graham.
"JJ has had a solid six months of preparation, understands his role within the team clearly and as such will do a very good job. His appearance against the Rebels in pre-season was a strong indication of what he is capable of.
"Ben has played in a number of positions for the Reds. He offers a broad skill set, is one of the most competitive guys I have come across and loves playing in the red jersey. His experience this weekend will be important in the back field."
On the replacements bench, two young Queenslanders stand to earn their first caps for Queensland, with former Australian Under-20s Pettowa Paraka and Jonah Placid named to cover prop and outside back respectively.
In another milestone this weekend, Rod Davies will play his 50th cap for Queensland.
For Western Force, No 8 Ben McCalman returns to the Perth-based outfit's starting XV following a two-week suspension incurred from his side's 31-29 win over the Highlanders.
He has been named at the back of the Force scrum, while Angus Cottrell reverts back to the blindside flank in the only changes to the Force line-up.
Hooker Nathan Charles and fly-half Sias Ebersohn are both set to play their 50th Super Rugby match, while Saturday's encounter will also mark right wing Luke Morahan's first return to Suncorp Stadium since leaving the Reds to join the Western Force for the 2014 season.
He will again team up with left wing Nick Cummins and full-back Jayden Hayward in the Force back three.
Western Force boss Michael Foley says his side is ready to resume its campaign following a bye.
"The bye week has allowed the team to rest and refocus on our next four-match block of the competition," he said.
"On the back of a lot of hard work by the boys, there's a growing belief in each other and how we're playing. Importantly, we're demonstrating greater composure and resilience when things aren't going to plan, which is a key characteristic of successful teams."
You can see all the action from Suncorp Stadium as the Reds take on the Western Force live on Sky Sports 3HD from 9:30am.
Reds: 15 Lucas, 14 Davies, 13 Tapuai, 12 Harris, 11 Taulagi, 10 Cooper, 9 Genia; 1 Slipper, 2 Hanson, 3 Holmes, 4 Simmons, 5 Horwill (capt), 6 Quirk, 7 Robinson, 8 Schatz.
Replacements: 16 Anae, 17 Paraka, 18 Owen, 19 O'Donoghue, 20 Browning, 21 Frisby, 22 Fainga'a, 23 Placid.
Western Force: 15 Hayward, 14 Morahan, 13 Rasolea, 12 Godwin, 11 Cummins, 10 Ebersohn, 9 Mathewson; 1 Cowan, 2 Charles, 3 Longbottom, 4 Wykes, 5 Steenkamp, 6 Cottrell, 7 Hodgson (capt), 8 McCalman.
Replacements: 16 Tessmann, 17 Faulkner, 18 Hoskins, 19 Coleman, 20 Stander, 21 Prior, 22 Holmes, 23 Brache.
Super Rugby 2014 Round 8
Highlanders wing Kurt Baker has been hit with a six-week suspension for a dangerous tackle.
The Crusaders broke Super Rugby's away-day hoodoo with a comfortable 28-7 win over the Lions in Johannesburg.
The Chiefs fought back from 34-10 down against the Cheetahs to claim a remarkable 43-43 draw in Super Rugby action.