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Two Reds changes for Brumbies clash in Brisbane

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Reds Super Rugby head coach Brad Thorn has named his team to play in the Brumbies in their first home game of the 2018 Super Rugby season at Suncorp Stadium this Friday.

The Reds have made two forced personnel changes to their starting XV, to cover the losses of Number 8 Scott Higginbotham and lock Lukhan Tui to suspension.

Tui has been replaced by Kane Douglas, while Higginbotham’s absence has caused a reshuffle in the back row. Liam Wright will make his run-on debut at openside flanker, with Caleb Timu shifting to Number 8 and Adam Korczyk moving to blindside flanker.

Lock Harry Hockings and back rower Angus Scott-Young are also in line for a potential Queensland and Super Rugby debut after being named on the bench. The pair have risen through the Queensland pathway, having represented the state’s U20s and Bond University Queensland Country in recent years.

The Reds have also named prop James Slipper as interim captain, in the absence of Higginbotham.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Friday is our first chance to play in front of our home fans and the guys are keen to bounce back from a disappointing loss last weekend.

“The Brumbies are a solid team. They’re strong at their set piece and around the breakdown. They’ve been together for a long time, they’ll be a tough challenge.

“Clearly we’re disappointed to lose Scott and Lukhan but it has happened and we just need to get on with it. We had a challenging pre-season and everyone came out the other side better for it, so I’ve got full confidence in the guys that are stepping into those roles.

“We welcomed five new faces to the Reds family last week and there’s the potential for another couple of debutants this Friday. I’ve worked with Harry and Angus for the last two years and I’m excited to see them get an opportunity.”

Reds:

15. Aidan Toua, 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13. Samu Kerevi, 12. Duncan Paia’aua, 11. Eto Nabuli, 10. Jono Lance, 9. James Tuttle, 8. Caleb Timu, 7. Liam Wright, 6. Adam Korczyk, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Izack Rodda, 3. Taniela Tupou, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1. James Slipper.

Replacements 16. Alex Mafi, 17. JP Smith, 18. Sef Fa’agase, 19. Harry Hockings, 20. Angus Scott-Young, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Hamish Stewart, 23. Filipo Daugunu.

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