Samo benched for opener
Brisbane - Wallabies No 8 Radike Samo is a shock selection on Reds' bench for Saturday's Super Rugby opener against the Waratahs
at ANZ Stadium.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has opted to go with a smaller
and more mobile back-row by selecting Jake Schatz instead of Samo at
the back of the scrum.
McKenzie has rushed Test flank Scott Higginbotham back
from a back injury which ruled him out of both of the Reds' trial
wins over the Brumbies and Force.
Hooker James Hanson will start the match in place of
regular No 2 Saia Faingaa who has a high ankle strain and may be
sidelined for the opening fortnight of the season.
Blistering young winger Dom Shipperley also had his
chance to start following good pre-season form and a hamstring injury
to Rod Davies.
McKenzie has opted for a forward heavy 5-2 split on the
bench which includes veteran lock Van Humphries who has recovered from
elbow surgery to play the first match of the year.
Rising flank Liam Gill missed out to incumbent Beau
Robinson in the battle for the hotly contested No 7 jersey, but
McKenzie has stressed the teenager will play a vital roll with Samo off
the bench in the second half.
15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Tom
Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Brackin Karauria-Henry, 10 Daniel
Halangahu (captain), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave
Dennis, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn
Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Lopeti Timani, 19 Jono Jenkins, 20
Brendan McKibbin, 21 Bernard Foley, 22 Nathan Trist.Reds:
15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12
Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz,
7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (capt), 4 Rob
Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Substitutes: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Van Humphries, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Jono Lance.