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McKenzie to test his Reds stars against Chiefs

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie wants to

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Article Published: Sunday 3 February 2013|

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has revealed that he plans to use a large number of his Wallabies in their final Super Rugby warm up match against the Chiefs at the Stockland Stadium on the Sunshine Coast.

The Reds beat the Blues 41-35 in Toowoomba on Saturday and McKenzie plans to bring back a number of experienced players for Friday's trial match against Super Rugby champions the Chiefs.

The Reds kick off their 2013 Super Rugby season against the Brumbies in Canberra on February the 16th.

McKenzie will assess the availability of his playing group prior to Tuesday's team announcement but the coach is expected to bring back the likes of Reds and Wallabies captain James Horwill, hooker Saia Faingaa, lock Rob Simmons, backrower Jake Schatz and winger Dom Shipperley.

"We'll assess the health of certain individuals and decide on the make-up of our squad early in the week but at this stage we're confident of welcoming back a number of guys for our trial against the Chiefs," McKenzie said.

"Everything for us at this stage is about ensuring we are in the best possible space going into next week's match against the Brumbies, so it's important that we see guys back out on the field performing before we make selection decisions for round one.

"Being our last trial game before the Super Rugby competition begins, our fans can expect at least as many Wallabies as we had in Toowoomba playing on Friday night."

The Reds will enter the match buoyed by their seven-try performance against the Blues in Toowoomba, where a team boasting 11 capped Wallabies from 2012 got the Reds off to the perfect start in 2013.

McKenzie said the Reds would take plenty of positives from that match with the high-intensify affair exactly what the team was seeking ahead of the season.

"We deliberately targeted Kiwi teams for our trials because in the end you want to be tested and they test you out in defence. We'll take a lot out of Saturday night's game," he said.

The Reds completed the match relatively unscathed although centre Anthony Faingaa will have an x-ray on his left hand on Monday morning.

Friday's match will see the Super Rugby champions of the past two seasons go head-to-head for the first time since their enthralling round 12 contest last year produced 10 tries and finished with the Reds victorious 42-27.

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