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Harris and Lucas to share Reds No.10 jersey

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Article Published: Wednesday 8 February 2012|

Reds backs Mike Harris and Ben Lucas will share the playmaking duties for the Reds Super Rugby pre-season clash against the Brumbies in Cairns this Saturday.

Harris will commence Saturday's encounter at Barlow Park at flyhalf before Lucas becomes the chief signal caller at number 10 later in the game.

The Reds will trial an extended 30-man squad for their first match of 2012 with Harris guiding a starting backline of Ben Tapuai and Jono Lance in the centres, Dom Shipperley and Chris Feauai-Sautia on the wings, Dallan Murphy at fullback and Nick Frisby at number nine.

"Mike and Ben both bring different qualities to the game but the reality is we need more than one option at each position so it's important they both put their best foot forward on Saturday," coach Ewen McKenzie said.

"Local derby games are always tough and, including trials, we play five Australian teams straight up. That's going to be physically taxing but Mike and Ben have previously exhibited the physical attributes we believe are needed for the opening part of our campaign.

"But it isn't just about the battle for the flyhalf position, we're excited to see how a number of players will step up in our two trials. Since I've been here we've never enjoyed more depth within our squad than now so performance is going to be a huge factor on who is selected for round one.

"We travel to Sydney to play the Waratahs in just over a fortnight so it's now up to the entire squad to see what they make of the opportunities they will be given."

Meanwhile, in a huge blow for the team, young lock David McDuling will miss the Reds' 2012 campaign with a torn ACL. McDuling will undergo surgery next week with the rehabilitation process set to rule him out of the upcoming Super Rugby season.

"Dave was one of a number of young men really impressing coaches during the preseason and it's devastating to see this sort of injury knowing how much hard work he has put in," McKenzie said.,

"We believe he is a player of the future and are looking forward to seeing him back at full strength and making the impact we know he can next year."

The Reds fly to Cairns on Thursday February 9 and will spend five days in the North Queensland community before flying to Perth to take on the Force on February 16.

Reds Trial Team

1. Ben Daley (c), 2. Albert Anae, 3. Greg Holmes, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Adam Wallace-Harrison, 6. Eddie Quirk, 7. Beau Robinson, 8. Radike Samo, 9. Nick Frisby, 10. Mike Harris, 11. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12. Ben Tapuai, 13. Jono Lance, 14. Dom Shipperley, 15. Dallan Murphy

Reserves: Kevin Davis, James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill, Digby Ioane, Saia Faingaa, Will Genia, Liam Gill, Ben Lucas, Luke Morahan, Jake Schatz, Guy Shepherdson, James Slipper, Ulupano Seuteni, Aidan Toua, ,

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