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Reds make late change and bring in Walker

QR Reds winger Brando Va’aulu has failed to fully recover from an ankle injury sustained in a mid-week training collision and will be replaced by Caleb Brown in Saturday’s Investec Super 14 match against the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Brown’s place on the bench will be taken by veteran Andrew Walker, in his farewell appearance in the Super 14 before he retires at the end of the season.

Va’aulu hurt his ankle after colliding with Brown when both went for a high ball in training. Head Coach Phil Mooney was prepared to give Va’aulu tonight’s Captain’s Run to prove his fitness but the winger voluntarily withdrew to allow the replacements a final training run with the team.

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‘Brando would love to have played if he could but didn’t want to risk letting the team down, so in consultation with the medical staff we decided to pull him out and put Caleb and Walks in,’ Mooney said.

‘Caleb is a pretty handy replacement so we have no worries there, nor with Walks, given all of his experience in big games like this,’ Mooney said.

Brown has not played Super 14 Rugby since May 2006, although in his last appearance against NSW he scored three tries playing on the wing in the Australian Provincial Championship game in September that year.

Brown’s 2007 season was ruined by hamstring troubles but he has been working his way back into form this year with appearances in the Australian Sevens, the QAS Reds 2nd XV and Trinity Premier Rugby.

Walker scored a try for the Reds in his last outing, off the bench against the Western Force, and has also been in good form for Easts in Trinity Premier Rugby.

The team is (from fullback):

Clinton Schifcofske, Caleb Brown, Morgan Turinui, Berrick Barnes, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Leroy Houston, David Croft, Poutasi Luafutu, James Horwill (c), Van Humphries, Dayna Edwards, Stephen Moore, Ben Coutts.


Reserves: Sean Hardman, Rodney Blake, Ed O’Donoghue, Scott Higginbotham, Sam Cordingley, Andrew Walker, Charlie Fetoai.
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