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Reds change three for Rebels at Suncorp

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The Queensland Reds have named their team to play the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Friday and made three changes to the side that lost to the Chiefs.

The three Reds changes are headlined by the return from injury of veteran tighthead prop Greg Holmes for his swansong in Queensland colours.

Holmes (currently on 143 Super Rugby caps and 145 Queensland caps) will join English club Exeter next season, but leaves the Reds as the most-capped prop in Queensland Rugby history, overtaking Stan Pilecki in 2015. He can also lay claim to the title of most-capped Reds player in Super Rugby history and second on the list for overall Queensland appearances (behind Sean Hardman on 148).

Injury has forced the other changes, with prop James Slipper (sternum) and fullback Jack Tuttle (shoulder) replaced by Sef Fa’agase and Tom Banks respectively. The match will be Banks’ first start in Super Rugby, after making his Reds debut off the bench last year.

Slipper’s absence has prompted the promotion of departing flanker Liam Gill to the role of captain for his final match at Suncorp Stadium before heading overseas for a two-year stint in France. While Gill has previously assumed the role of captain when Slipper was substituted during games, this is the first time he has been named skipper from the outset.

The Reds have also made three changes to the bench. Departing hooker Saia Fainga’a and prop Ben Daley will get one last run for Queensland after both making a successful recovery from injury in time for the match, while Michael Gunn gets an opportunity in place of Leroy Houston.

The match will also be the last outing in the Queensland jersey for Curtis Browning before taking up a one-year deal in France.

Reds fans are encouraged to get to Suncorp Stadium this Friday to farewell their departing heroes.

Reds co-interim head coach Nick Stiles said: “This is an important match for everyone in the team. It’s the last time some of these guys will get to pull on the Queensland jersey and they’re desperate to finish their time off with a performance we can all be proud of.

“It’s been a tough season, but we’ve had great support from the Queensland faithful all year and it would mean a lot if we can see them leave the stadium with a smile on their face and some reward for their passion.”

Queensland Reds

1. Sef Fa’agase , 2. Andrew Ready , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Cadeyrn Neville , 5. Kane Douglas , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. Liam Gill (C) , 8. Curtis Browning , 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Duncan Paia’aua , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Henry Taefu , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Chris Kuridrani , 15. Tom Banks (run-on debut)

Replacements : 16. Saia Fainga’a , 17. Ben Daley , 18. Taniela Tupou , 19. Lukhan Tui , 20. Michael Gunn , 21. James Tuttle , 22. Alex Gibbon , 23. Campbell Magnay

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