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Lucas to fill in for Quade Cooper against Sharks

Ben Lucas is a popular choice to fill in for Cooper

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Article Published: Tuesday 17 July 2012|

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie says that he won't be losing any sleep about playing Ben Lucas instead of Quade Cooper in their Super Rugby play off against the Sharks.

The Reds could still make an appeal against Quade Cooper's one match ban for a tackle on Berrick Barnes but they are fairly relaxed about their back up options and want to wait until they received the written judgement on Cooper's suspension before deciding.

"We will look at the reasons then go forward," McKenzie told AAP.

"We think there might be grounds (to appeal) but it doesn't mean we will go forward with it."

"We will make an informed decision when we get all the information but we have to get on with our preparation for the Sharks."

Cooper said that he was wary of appealing as it could end up adding more weeks to his ban the appeal was unsuccessful but his coach is more relaxed.

"I am not worried (about using Lucas). We have always said we are confident for cover if Quade is out," he said.

"Hopefully he rises to the occasion. He has done it before for us."

McKenzie is relaxed about playing Lucas as the last time that Cooper was missing and he fielded Lucas the Reds beat the Chiefs 42-27 at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds captain Will Genia said that he was looking forward to playing with Lucas.

"Ben has been exceptional the times he has been at 10 for us - he will step in and do the job," Genia said on Tuesday.

"It is obviously very disappointing not having Quade play but in terms of the process you have to trust it and back the decision that was made.

"From our point of view we have to move on."

The Reds will looking forward to this week's match as they lost 27-22 to the Sharks in Durban earlier this season after leading 17-0 in the early stages of the match.

The match also saw them lose Lucas and Mike Harris to injury as well as Digby Ioane to suspension and it was the start of a three match slump that almost wrecked their season.

Genia is looking forward to the match as it gives the Reds a chance to exact revenge on the Sharks.

"I can't wait. From 17-0 up then to lose the game ... I am really looking forward to another opportunity to play them," he said.

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