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Reds roll out big guns to face Lions

06th June 2013 06:24

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The Reds have named their strongest available line-up to face the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, with Quade Cooper wearing the 10 shirt.

Despite being without seven current Wallabies, the Reds still boast plenty of international class, with nine capped Wallabies chosen in the starting XV and a further three on the replacements bench.

Their experience combines for a total of 127 Australian caps while each member of the starting team for Saturday's blockbuster clash has also played in a Super Rugby match for them.

Of those, five players have featured in all 15 regular season Super Rugby matches to this point, including hooker James Hanson, prop Greg Holmes, back-rowers Eddie Quirk and Jake Schatz, and the impressive fly-half Cooper.

Two players are in line to make their Queensland debuts on Saturday with Super Rugby capped prop Jono Owen and Reds College member Sam Denny chosen on the bench for Saturday's game.

"Playing against The British and Irish Lions is a once in a career type opportunity, so to be running out in front of a sold-out Suncorp Stadium crowd on Saturday night will be an experience these 23 players will never forget," Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie said.

"Our approach was always going to be to field as strong a line-up as possible and I've got every confidence in the group we've chosen to go out and compete against a very talented Lions squad."

The Reds will on Saturday be aiming to become the first Australian provincial team to beat The British and Irish Lions in a tour-game since Queensland famously defeated their rivals 15-11 in their opening tour game of 1971.

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Ed O'Donoghue, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Sam Denny, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Jono Lance, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Dom Shipperley.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Kick-off: 19:30 local (10:30 BST, 09:30 GMT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Television match official: tba (New Zealand)
Assessor: Scott Young/Andrew Cole (Australia)