Vodacom Super Rugby
Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Reds change five for Lions
Johannesburg - Perhaps they see the MTN Lions as easy meat, but Red coach Ewen McKenzie has made five changes to his side to face their Johannesburg counterparts at Coca Cola Park on Saturday.
With the Lions only able to record one victory in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition, it isn’t a wonder that McKenzie has decided to experiment against John Mitchell’s side and has backed some fringe players as the Reds look for their best combinations as the competition approaches its halfway point.
Interestingly Wallaby winger Digby Ioane will move to outside centre, with Mike Harris replacing Ben Lucas at fullback after the latter’s injury, and Luke Morahan will get a run on the wing this week.
Harris will therefore start his first game this week after spending most of the season on the bench.
Up front Greg Holmes is selected at looshead while Adam Wallace-Harrison gets a chance to impress in the second row alongside captain James Horwill.
“We’re searching for our best combinations and while happy with where we are at, we are always looking to get better,” coach Ewen McKenzie said.
“We’ve got a talented squad and it’s important to keep them all motivated and interested.
“With Ben Lucas injured Mike has earned his place at fullback. He has done everything asked of him and has struck up a good combination with Quade, along with being a very talented kicker.”
Scrumhalf Ian Prior, a former Australian under-20s star, has also been selected on the bench and can make his debut if he gets onto the field.
15. Mike Harris, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Digby Ioane, 12. Anthony Faingaa, 11. Luke Morahan, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Leroy Houston, 7. Beau Robinson, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 5. James Horwill (c), 4. Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3. James Slipper, 2. Saia Faingaa, 1. Greg Holmes
Substitutes: 16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Rob Simmons, 19. Radike Samo, 20. Jake Schatz, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Ben TapuaiLions: