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Thorn makes three Reds changes for Chiefs

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Queensland Reds Super Rugby head coach brad Thorn has named a team with three changes to play the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The match is the Reds’ first home game in six weeks and will recognise ANZAC Round, as well as marking Queensland’s 1000th capped Rugby match, a significant milestone in the 136-year history of Queensland Rugby Union.

The Reds have made three personnel changes to the starting XV which lost to the NSW Waratahs last week, with prop Taniela Tupou and scrumhalf Ben Lucas returning from injury and flanker Angus Scott-Young promoted to the run-on team.

Tupou’s return from a shoulder injury sees him resume his role as starting tighthead prop, ahead of Ruan Smith, who moves to the bench, with Sef Fa’agase dropping out of the match-day 23.

Lucas has recovered from a concussion suffered against the Brumbies two weeks ago to take the place of James Tuttle, who has dropped out of the 23.

A knee injury to Lukhan Tui, has prompted the back-row reshuffle, with Scott-Young taking his place at blindside flanker, earning his first start since Round 6.

The Reds have also made a number of changes to the bench, highlighted by the return from injury of veteran flanker George Smith, who has recovered from back surgery late last year to be named in the match-day 23 for the first time in 2018. Smith takes the place of Adam Korczyk in the reserves.

Lock Harry Hockings also returns to the match-day 23 for the first time since Round 6, taking the spot left vacant by Scott-Young’s promotion.

The only other change to the bench sees scrumhalf Moses Sorovi brought in for the first time this season, with Tate McDermott dropping out.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Everyone is excited to be back at Suncorp Stadium. It’s been six weeks since we’ve had the opportunity to play at home, in front of our friends, family and fans. It’s great to be back.

“It’s a good occasion to return home to, with the opportunity to mark Queensland’s 1000th capped match, while also recognising ANZAC Round and paying tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.

“We’ve made a few changes to the team and it’s great to be able to bring Taniela (Tupou) and Ben (Lucas) back into the side. They missed out last week due to injury and they’ll be keen to get stuck in this weekend. They both offer plenty to the team.

“Unfortunately Lukhan suffered an injury last week, but we’ve got confidence in the depth of this squad. Angus (Scott-Young) gets another opportunity in the starting side and he’ll be keen to get involved in everything. His promotion also presents an opportunity for Harry (Hockings) to come back into the side. He may only be 19 and in his first season of Super Rugby, but we’ve been impressed with how he’s played and we see a bright future for him.

“We’re also welcoming George back into the side for the first time this year. It’s great to see the old master return. He brings experience and composure as well as being a real threat at the breakdown.

“Moses gets his first crack of the season too. We’ve seen what James (Tuttle) and Tate (McDermott) can do and Moses has been working away in the background, waiting for his chance.

“It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks for us, we felt we haven’t played to our potential. Australian Super Rugby teams have had a terrible record against New Zealand teams in recent years, so there is a tough challenge in front of us but we’re excited by the opportunity.”

Queensland Reds

1. James Slipper (C) , 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa , 3. Taniela Tupou , 4. Izack Rodda , 5. Kane Douglas , 6. Angus Scott-Young , 7. Liam Wright , 8. Caleb Timu , 9. Ben Lucas , 10. Jono Lance , 11. Izaia Perese, 12. Samu Kerevi , 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia , 14. Filipo Daugunu , 15. Aidan Toua – Easts

Replacements : 16. Alex Mafi , 17. JP Smith , 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Harry Hockings, 20. George Smith, 21. Moses Sorovi , 22. Hamish Stewart , 23. Jordan Petaia

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