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Lucas to take charge at 10 in Reds play-off

Ben Lucas will run the Reds backline

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Article Published: Friday 20 July 2012|

The Reds have named their team to take on the Sharks in Saturday's Super Rugby play-off at Suncorp Stadium, with Ben Lucas handed the number ten jersey in Quade Cooper's absence.

Lucas is the only change to the Brisbane side's starting line-up, which scored five tries and beat the Waratahs 32-16 last weekend.

The 24-year-old replaces the suspended Cooper after Queensland Rugby chose not to appeal the SANZAR judicial ruling on Thursday night, in order to avoid further disruption to the team’s title defence.

Lucas has made the flyhalf berth his own throughout large parts of 2012 and also wore the number ten jersey against the Sharks in Durban earlier this season.

Coach Ewen McKenzie said the group had full confidence in the young playmaker.

“Ben has been training at 10 all week and the guys around him are very comfortable with the direction he gives the team as he has gained plenty of experience in the playmaking role during the past two seasons,” McKenzie said.

“Before last week against the Waratahs, we enjoyed arguably our best wins of the season, against the then competition-leading Chiefs, with Ben at flyhalf and we are confident he will get the job done tomorrow night.

“But it isn’t just about Ben, we have 21 other guys who will need to perform to ensure there is a strong platform for which we can launch our attack.”

Meanwhile, on the bench, versatile back Nick Frisby regains his spot in the match day side after being named in jersey number 21.

Reds: 1. Greg Holmes, 2. Saia Faingaa, 3. James Slipper, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Adam Wallace-Harrison (vc), 6. Jake Schatz, 7. Liam Gill, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 9. Will Genia (c)
10. Ben Lucas, 11. Digby Ioane, 12. Mike Harris, 13. Anthony Faingaa, 14. Dom Shipperley, 15. Luke Morahan.

Replacements: i16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Radike Samo, 19. Beau Robinson, 20. Jarrad Butler, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Ben Tapuai.

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