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Reds make two changes for Rebels

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Queensland’s Reds have named a Super Rugby team with two changes to play the Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Twin brothers, JP and Ruan Smith will both start in the front row this weekend, with fellow props Taniela Tupou on the bench and Feao Fotuaika ruled out after fracturing his thumb against the Brumbies.

Following his impressive performance last week, Tate McDermott has retained his starting spot at number nine alongside flyhalf Bryce Hegarty in an unchanged Reds backline.

Tupou is only the difference to the reserves, as Queensland look to make it three straight wins this season with a victory on Saturday night.


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Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The Rebels will be a tough assignment as they have plenty of threats, but our main focus has been on us and growing our game.

“We love playing at home in front of our people, and we hope there’s good a crowd on Saturday night.

“It’s disappointing losing Feao. He’s a big loss for us. As he’s done all year, he’ll continue to work hard to get back playing as soon as he can.

“We’ve got a great support team here with Cameron Lillicrap (coach and physiotherapist) and Brynley Abad (Strength and Conditioning head coach) who will ensure he returns even fitter and stronger.

“The Smith boys get the opportunity to start this week after their good performance in Tokyo, with Taniela moving to the bench.

“Our bench/finishers have been a real strength for us when they’ve come on and made an impact for us,” said Thorn.

Following the Reds upset win over the Rebels in the penultimate round of Super Rugby last year, Queensland is aiming to record back-to-back wins against Melbourne for the first time since 2013.

Reds

15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Ruan Smith,  2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith.

Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Isaac Lucas

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