Blockbusting centre Lloyd Johansson has been named at inside centre in the QR Queensland Reds team to play the Crusaders in Saturday’s Investec Super 14 second round match in Christchurch.
Former Wallaby Johansson will have a chance to again make the position his own after dropping out of calculations for last week’s opening game against the Hurricanes as a disciplinary measure for arriving late for a training session.
An injury to Andrew Brown created the opening for Johansson’s return, although young centre Charlie Fetoai also impressed at inside centre against the Hurricanes when he came on as a second half replacement for the injured Brown.
Johansson was given the nod after selectors pondered that and a number of other positions.
“Lloyd’s trained hard and now with the injury to Andrew he’s been given an opportunity,” said Jones.
Jones made no other changes to the starting lineup used against the Hurricanes, although he said another tough decision was which of the Reds’ two Wallaby hookers would wear the No 2 jersey.
“We have two very good hookers in Sean Hardman and Stephen Moore, so that was a difficult call. It’s a matter of deciding who should start the game and who should finish, and on this occasion we’ll be looking to Stephen to give us a real strike weapon later in the game.”
Rookie flyhalf Quade Cooper, who was also disciplined for arriving late with Johansson, has been included on the Reds bench for the Crusaders game.
The team is (from fullback):
Clinton Schifcofske, Henari Veratau, Ben Tune, Lloyd Johansson, Peter Hynes, Berrick Barnes, Nic Berry, John Roe (capt), David Croft, Mitch Chapman, Hugh McMeniman, James Horwill, Rodney Blake, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Res: Stephen Moore, Ben Coutts, Ed O’Donoghue, Tom McVerry, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Charlie Fetoai.
Rookie winger Brando Va’alu drops out of the 22 but will travel with the team when they fly out for Christchurch this morning.