Holmes returns for Reds swansong
Cape Town - The Reds have made three changes to their starting XV for Friday's clash with the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane.
The changes are headlined by the return from injury of veteran tighthead prop Greg Holmes for his swansong in Queensland colours.
Holmes (currently on 143 Super Rugby caps and 145 Queensland caps) will join English club Exeter next season, but leaves the Reds as the most-capped prop in Queensland Rugby history, overtaking Stan Pilecki in 2015.
He can also lay claim to the title of most-capped Reds player in Super Rugby history and second on the list for overall Queensland appearances (behind Sean Hardman on 148).
Injury has forced the other changes, with prop James Slipper (sternum) and full-back Jack Tuttle (shoulder) replaced by Sef Fa’agase and Tom Banks respectively. The match will be Banks’ first start in Super Rugby, after making his Reds debut off the bench last year.
Slipper’s absence has prompted the promotion of departing flanker Liam Gill to the role of captain for his final match at Suncorp Stadium before heading overseas for a two-year stint in France.
While Gill has previously assumed the role of captain when Slipper was substituted during games, this is the first time he has been named skipper from the outset.
The Reds have also made three changes to the bench. Departing hooker Saia Fainga’a and prop Ben Daley will get one last run for Queensland after both making a successful recovery from injury in time for the match, while Michael Gunn gets an opportunity in place of Leroy Houston.
The match will also be the last outing in the Queensland jersey for Curtis Browning before taking up a one-year deal in France.
15 Tom Banks, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Duncan Paia’aua, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill (captain), 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Sef Fa’agase
Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Alex Gibbon, 23 Campbell Magnay