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Moore returns for Reds against Waratahs

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Queensland Reds head coach Nick Stiles has named a team with minimal changes for Saturday’s Super rugby match against the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Stiles has keep changes to a minimum as the return of Stephen Moore is the only change in the starting side.

Moore returns in place of Alex Mafi, who has moved to the bench. The other changes to the side are all in the reserves, with a number of players returning from injury.

Lock Izack Rodda returns from a shoulder injury to take the place of Kane Douglas in the reserves. Number 8 Leroy Houston gets his first opportunity in the Reds jersey in 2017, after finally recovering from an eye injury suffered in the lead up to their Round 4 match against the Jaguares. Houston takes his place in the reserves ahead of Adam Korczyk.

Campbell Magnay is also lining up for his first game in 2017 after completing a lengthy rehabilitation from shoulder and hip injuries. Magnay has replaced winger Chris Kuridrani in the reserves.

Stiles said: “No one needs reminding of the importance of this match for both sides. “This is the only Queensland versus New South Wales fixture in the 2017 calendar and it has a lot of implications for the Australian conference. “I know the team, the organisation and our fans are really looking forward to it.

“It’s also great to be able to bring a few players back from injury this week. Everyone wants a chance to pull the colours on against New South Wales. “Those guys have worked really hard to ensure they’re fit to play and are really excited to take the field on Saturday.”

Although Moore returns to the starting lineup this week, Stiles said he opted to keep Samu Kerevi as captain to continue his development as a leader.

“Samu carried himself well in his first outing as captain two weeks ago and we wanted to give him more time in the role so he can build on that experience.

“Stephen did a fine job as captain in the absence of James Slipper, and his role as a leader within the group won’t change – he was brought back to Queensland to help develop the next generation of leaders and he’ll continue to do that.”

Reds

1 Sef Fa’agase , 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Sam Talakai, 4 Rob Simmons , 5 Lukhan Tui , 6 Hendrik Tui , 7 George Smith , 8 Scott Higginbotham, 9 James Tuttle , 10 Quade Cooper , 11 Eto Nabuli , 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 13 Samu Kerevi (C), 14 Izaia Perese , 15 Karmichael Hunt

Replacements : 16 Alex Mafi , 17 Kirwan Sanday , 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda , 20 Leroy Houston , 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Campbell Magnay,

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