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McKenzie makes one Reds change for Highlanders

Beau Robinson starts this week in place of Liam Gill

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Article Published: Thursday 5 July 2012|

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has made one injury enforced change to the team that beat the Rebels for this week's clash against the Highlanders.

Beau Robinson moves into the starting line-up at openside flanker after No.7 Liam Gill sustained a hamstring strain against the Rebels at the weekend.

The remainder of the forward pack remains unchanged with Greg Holmes, Saia Faingaa and James Slipper in the front-row; Rob Simmons and vice-captain Adam Wallace-Harrison in the second-row; and Jake Schatz and Scott Higginbotham joining Robinson in the backrow.

Captain Will Genia and flyhalf Quade Cooper will lead a backline that includes Chris F'Sautia and Dom Shipperley on the wings; Mike Harris and Anthony Faingaa in the centres and Luke Morahan at fullback.

Centre Ben Tapuai is also set to make his return from the bench after recovering from a broken collarbone he sustained back in round 9, while rookie backrower Jarrad Butler is in line to make his debut from the reserves.

Playmaker Ben Lucas is also in line to reach his milestone 50th game for Queensland after he made his debute for Queensland in 2008 against the Brumbies and was involved in the team's historic championship-winning campaign of 2011.

"Loyalty is massive for me and I've grown up a Queenslander, so to reach 50 games for the Reds is something I'm very proud of," Lucas said.

McKenzie has gone with a traditional 4-3 split on the bench and McKenzie said the team was looking forward to being back at Suncorp.

"Last week's result against the Rebels has put us in a good space so it's important we build from that to put in another strong performance against the Highlanders on Friday night," McKenzie said.

"It has been seven weeks since we were last at Suncorp Stadium so we won't be lacking motivation with the result crucial to our finals fate. It's an exciting period of the season and we've proven in the past that we're a team that can step-up in the big games.

"It's unfortunate to be without Liam and Digby but our expectations remain high and we're looking forward to the contest."

Winger Digby Ioane remains on sideline as he makes his recovery from a bout of pneumonia but he expects to take his place in the side next week in front of a huge crowd for the Reds final regular season match against the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

The Reds will wear striking Aboriginal art printed jerseys which have been designed by commissioned artist Stephen Hogarth as part of the NAIDOC week festivities.


1. Greg Holmes,2. Saia Faingaa,3. James Slipper,4. Rob Simmons,5. Adam Wallace-Harrison (vc),6. Jake Schatz,7. Beau Robinson,8. Scott Higginbotham,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Chris F'Sautia,12. Mike Harris,13. Anthony Faingaa,14. Dom Shipperley,15. Luke Morahan

Replacements : 16. James Hanson,17. Ben Daley,18. Radike Samo,19. Jarrad Butler,20. Ben Lucas,21. Ben Tapuai,22. Nick Frisby

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