Sydney - Rookie flyhalf Sam Lane has been thrust into the struggling
Queensland Reds' playmaking hot seat for his Super Rugby debut against
the Brumbies on Good Friday.
Signed by the defending champions on a short-term
contract last week due to their backline injury crisis, Lane becomes the
Reds' fifth-choice flyhalf this season after being chosen to start
ahead of Dallan Murphy at Suncorp Stadium.
The 21-year-old son of former Wallabies centre Tim Lane
was a boom prospect in South Africa, where he finished his schooling in
Cape Town, before returning to Sydney late last year to take a spot in
Australia's national academy.
Lane is one of four personnel changes Reds coach
Ewen McKenzie has made to the starting team which lost 45-19 to the Force last weekend in Perth.
Speedy outside back Aidan Toua will make his run-on debut
at outside centre after overcoming a hamstring strain sustained in the
pre-season while lock Rob Simmons and flanker Beau Robinson return to
the starting pack.
McKenzie has opted for two ball scavengers in a mobile
back-row with Robinson and Liam Gill to work in tandem against the
Brumbies' big loose-forward trio of Ben Mowen, Peter Kimlin and Ita
With Scott Higginbotham moving to the back of the scrum,
Radike Samo has again been overlooked at No 8 and will make his return
off the bench as one of five Reds forwards.
McKenzie has also switched Luke Morahan back to fullback with Rod Davies to start on the wing.
The Brumbies, who arrived in Brisbane on Thursday
morning, hold a five-point lead at the top of the Australian conference
and can open up a sizeable gap on the Reds if they dish out the Reds
fourth straight defeat.
15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Aidan Toua
12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Sam Lane, 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 Radike Samo, 19 Van Humphries, 20 Eddie Quirk, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Dallan MurphyBrumbies:
Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Henry
Speight, 0 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7
Ita Vaea, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Leon Power, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Dan Palmer, 2
Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander
Substitutes: 16 Anthony Hegarty,
17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Ian Prior, 21
Zack Holmes, 22 Tevita Kuridrani