Reds make changes for Sharks




Coach Jeff Miller has sprung a few surprises in the QR Queensland Reds team announced today to take on the Sharks in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday night.

Rookie Caleb Brown has been rewarded for his exciting cameos this season with a place in the starting line-up, while utility forward Tom McVerry also comes into the run-on side with the experienced Mark Connors moving to the bench.

Australian 2005 Under-21s captain Ben Mowen is in line to make his Queensland Super 14 debut from the bench at the expense of Cameron Treloar and he couldn’t be more thrilled.

‘I’ve been on the phone all night ringing all my family and making sure the stay up and watch it so I’m looking forward to it,’ he said.

Mowen impressed on the Reds Argentinean tour last October and was well placed to come into the side early in the season but broke his jaw.

‘Unfortunately at the start of the year I had my broken jaw which was a real set back to the start of my season but I’m very glad to get the opportunity now.’ Mowen said.

There is no chance that he will be nervous at the point of contact.

‘I’ve had a couple of Queensland A games now to really get my feet and find my way in those contact situations so I’m looking forward to the confrontation with the Sharks.’

At 6’5′ the team loses no height with his inclusion and forwards coach Alec Evans can see Mowen being an asset in the lineouts.

‘He’s an outstanding lineout person and he’s little bit lighter than normal so we can get him up quickly and compete.’

Evans also said that McVerry’s promotion into the run-on side was just reward for the bulked-up utility who has worked his way into the team into the No. 6 jumper where he will partner up-and-coming hitman Mitchell Chapman in the second row.

‘It’s really a change over in acknowledging that Tom’s in form,’ Evans said of the changes to the forward pack.

‘Mark (Connors) has done a great job. One of the reasons for getting him into the squad was to help these young guys come through which he’s done superbly.’

A final decision on the fitness of Rodney Blake will be made later in the week with Aniva Niumata on standby should he not be available.

The squad is:

1. Greg Holmes
2. Stephen Moore
3. Rodney Blake / Anthony Mathison
4. Mitchell Chapman
5. James Horwill
6. Tom McVerry
7. David Croft
8. John Roe
9. Sam Cordingley
10. Berrick Barnes
11. Peter Hynes
12. Julian Huxley
13. Ben Tune
14. Caleb Brown
15. Drew Mitchell

16. Sean Hardman
17. Anthony Mathison / Aniva Niumata
18. Ben Mowen
19. Mark Connors
20. Josh Valentine
21. Lloyd Johansson
22. Henari Veritau

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