Super Rugby

Reds change three for Lions clash

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Queensland Reds Super Rugby head coach Nick Stiles has named a side with three changes for this weekend’s match against the Lions in Johannesburg.

The Reds narrowly lost to the Crusaders last week in Brisbane and have travelled to South Africa to face the Lions.

Hooker Andrew Ready has gained his first start of the season, coming into the Number 2 jersey, with Stephen Moore shifting to the bench.

Lock Kane Douglas also returns to the starting side after Izack Rodda was unable to train fully due to a head knock against the Crusaders. That change has also allowed Lukhan Tui to come into the match-day 23 for the first time this season as a reserve.

Reds head coach Nick Stiles said: “One of the benefits of our squad is we have genuine depth in a number of positions. Both Andrew and Stephen have been exceptional for us over the first few weeks.

“Stephen has started the first few rounds, but we’ve got complete faith in Andrew to take on the starting role and having a guy of Stephen’s quality on the bench provides us with unmatched experience at the back end of the game.

“It’s disappointing not to be able to give Izack another run, but with the travel over here, he just didn’t have enough time to train and get through all the necessary protocols that come with a head knock. Again, we’ve got a lot of quality depth in the lock position. Both Kane and Lukhan bring a lot of aggression and physicality, so they’re a good fit for this game.

“The Reds haven’t had a great track record on this tour in recent years, but the professionalism and desire we’ve seen from the squad this week has been pleasing. We’re here to get results and a win at altitude against a quality team like the Lions would be a great reward for our hard work.”

The Queensland Reds play the Lions at Ellis Park Stadium this Sunday 19 March at 1:15am (AEST). The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.

Reds

1. James Slipper (C) , 2. Andrew Ready , 3. Sam Talakai , 4. Rob Simmons , 5. Kane Douglas , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. George Smith , 8. Scott Higginbotham , 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Duncan Paia’aua , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Izaia Perese , 15. Karmichael Hunt

Replacements : 16. Stephen Moore , 17. Markus Vanzati , 18. Taniela Tupou , 19. Lukhan Tui , 20. Adam Korczyk , 21. James Tuttle , 22. Jake McIntyre , 23. Chris Kuridrani

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