Reds change 4 for Bulls battle
Pretoria - The Reds have made four changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Super Rugby encounter against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Kick-off is scheduled for 17:15.
Chris Feauai-Sautia will start at outside centre in his return from a hamstring injury, as captain Samu Kerevi shifts back to 12.
Outside back Aidan Toua earns his first start this season on the wing replacing Sefa Naivalu, who is being rested in accordance with Rugby Australia’s workload management policy.
Up front, prop Taniela Tupou and hooker Alex Mafi will both come off the bench and into the starting front row this weekend.
Tupou and Mafi’s inclusion in the XV sees South African-born Ruan Smith and Brandon Paenga-Amosa drop to the bench.
They’ll be joined by other new two faces with backrower Angus Scott-Young cleared of concussion and University of Queensland flyer Jock Campbell potentially set to make his Super Rugby and Reds debut.
“Playing at Loftus is always a great and challenging experience. The Bulls will be highly motivated playing at home. After a couple of results haven’t gone their way, they’ll be putting in a good performance in front of their fans,” head coach Brad Thorn told the Reds’ official website.
“We’ve decided to rest Sefa as part of Rugby Australia’s resting policy. He’ll be missed. He’s been playing outstanding rugby for us. It sees Aidan get an opportunity this week.
“A big well done to Jock for being in the 23. It’s good to see another man from club Rugby come into our programme and be rewarded for the hard work he’s put in. As a group we congratulate him,” said Thorn.
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Handre Pollard (captain), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw
15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Jack Hardy, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith
Substitutes: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Jock Campbell