Ioane back at centre for Reds
Auckland - Wallabies wing Digby Ioane will play his 50th game for Queensland
in the centres as the Reds take on Super Rugby's last-placed Blues on
Ioane will make his return from a five-week suspension at
Eden Park as one of three changes to the starting side which fell 23-13
to the Stormers in Brisbane last weekend.
The 21-Test flyer will line up at outside centre,
replacing the injured Ben Tapuai (collarbone), while utility back Ben
Lucas will start at flyhalf in place of Sam Lane (knee).
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has also dumped Wallabies
No 8 Radike Samo and named two ball scavengers in his backrow with
rising flanker Liam Gill joining Beau Robinson, and Scott Higginbotham
moving from No 6 to the back of the scrum.
McKenzie has also made three changes to his bench with
forwards Adam Wallace-Harrison and Eddie Quirk coming in for Van
Humphries (arm) and Samo, and Wallabies centre Anthony Faingaa making
his return from a foot injury.
Ioane, who turned his back on a $1 million per year offer
from Japan last year, said he was proud to notch his 50th cap in a
crucial match for the battling Reds.
"I re-signed last year knowing Queensland was where I
wanted to be so it's a great moment for me to reach the milestone for
the Reds," he said.
"Hopefully we can celebrate the night with a win."
15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 George Moala, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11
Rudi Wulf, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili,
7 Daniel Braid, 6 Luke Braid (captain), 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Ali Williams, 3
Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tevita Mailau
Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Chris Lowrey, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 Benson Stanley
15 Luke Morahan, 14 Rod
Davies, 13 Digby Ioane, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley, 10 Ben Lucas,
9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Beau Robinson, 5
James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson,
1 Ben Daley
Substitutes: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Greg Holmes, 18
Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Ed Quirk, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Nick Frisby, 22