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Douglas one of two Reds changes for Chiefs

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Queensland Super Rugby franchise the Reds have named a team with two changes for this Friday’s match against the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium.

Wallabies and former Waratahs lock Kane Douglas will make his first start for the Queensland side after making a succesful return from injury through the bench last week against the Brumbies.

Douglas’ return means Australian Under 20s lock Lukhan Tui has been shifted to the reserves bench, after a promising run in the starting side last week.

In the other change to the starting side, an ankle injury to regular flyhalf Jake McIntyre has presented an opportunity for playmaker Duncan Paia’aua to earn his first start in Super Rugby.

Paia’aua came on as an injury replacement for McIntyre at half time last week and looked comfortable in the key role.

The only other change to the match-day 23 sees the return of veteran Anthony Fainga’a, who has been named on the bench.

Reds co-interim head coach Matt O’Connor said: “It’s disappointing to lose Jake for this match, but we’re confident in Duncan’s ability. He performed well when he came off the bench to cover for Jake in the second half last week and we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can produce against the Chiefs on Friday night.

“The Chiefs are top of the New Zealand conference for a reason. We are well aware of the threats they pose. They are a fantastic footy team.

“What’s important for us is that we put in a performance our fans can be proud of. We’ve had a reasonable run at home this year and we want to continue that in our last two matches at Suncorp Stadium for the season.”

This Friday’s match marks Queensland Rugby Union’s fifth Indigenous Round, which coincides with NAIDOC Week and celebrates the year-round work of Queensland Rugby in Indigenous communities in Queensland.

As part of Indigenous Round celebrations, the Reds have been wearing unique Indigenous training kit all week, which was designed by Reds Generation Next program participant Phillip Yeatman.

Originally from Yarrabah, Yeatman is a member of the Kuku-Nyunkal, Yalanji, Olkola cultural group. He graduated from Brisbane Boys College in 2015 and is currently studying engineering at Queensland University of Technology. A portion of all sales of this year’s Indigenous Round merchandise will go toward his education.

Queensland Reds

1. James Slipper (C) , 2. Andrew Ready , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Cadeyrn Neville , 5. Kane Douglas (run-on debut) , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Curtis Browning , 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Duncan Paia’aua (run-on debut) , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Henry Taefu , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Chris Kuridrani , 15. Jack Tuttle

Replacements : 16. Matt Mafi , 17. Sef Fa’agase , 18. Taniela Tupou , 19. Lukhan Tui , 20. Leroy Houston , 21. James Tuttle , 22. Anthony Fainga’a , 23. Campbell Magnay

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