Reds tinker with team for Rebels clash
Town - The Reds have
named their team to take on the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Friday,
with Izack Rodda returning
to the line-up.
However, they will be without
Test centre Samu
Kerevi, who will be out for 12-16 weeks after undergoing
surgery Monday to repair a ruptured bicep.
The Reds have made four changes
to the starting line-up which lost to the Blues in Auckland last week.
Rodda’s return from a shoulder
complaint sees him slot into the starting second-row, with youngster Harry
Hockings dropping out of the matchday 23.
Recent Wallabies debutant Caleb
Timu has also been brought into the starting team at number six, after making
his return to the Reds via the bench last weekend. Timu replaces Lukhan Tui,
who has shifted to the bench.
In the backs, Kerevi’s injury has
prompted a positional shift for impressive 18-year-old Jordan Petaia, who has
moved from the wing to outside centre, with Filipo Daugunu promoted to the
starting line-up on the wing.
In the reserves, utility back
Teti Tela from Brisbane club Souths is in line to make his potential
Queensland/Super Rugby debut. The versatile 27-year-old was an asset for Bond
University Queensland Country throughout their run to the National Rugby
Championship title last year, earning himself a contract with the Reds squad
for the 2018 season.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said:
“It is good to have Izack Rodda back in the mix. We’ve got a lot of depth in
the forward pack, which makes it pretty difficult come selection time. It’s a
good problem to have. We’ve also brought Caleb Timu back into the starting side
as we feel he offers a lot to our attack on the edges. It’s unfortunate for
Lukhan Tui but he has a big role to play with his impact off the bench, given
he can play in the loose forwards or middle row.
“It’s really disappointing to
lose Samu Kerevi to injury. He has been in great form all year. We’ve had bit
of an injury toll in that position, along with Chris Feauai-Sautia, Izaia
Perese and Ben Lucas, but in saying that, it’s an opportunity for Jordan
Petaia. He has done a fantastic job in his first year of Super Rugby as an
18-year-old. He hasn’t been overawed with it and forced his way into the
starting side. Centre is his natural position, so we’re looking forward to
seeing how he goes with this opportunity.
“We have another tough challenge
in front of us this week with the Rebels. We’re looking to compete hard and put
in a good performance. We appreciate the opportunity to play in front of our
15 Jono Lance, 14 Filipo Daugunu,
13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Moses
Sorovi, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Caleb Timu, 5 Kane
Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP
Substitutes: 16 Alex Mafi, 17
Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate
McDermott, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Aidan Toua