Kuridrani returns for Reds

Date published: June 11 2015

The Reds welcome back wing Chris Kuridrani for Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Waratahs in Sydney.

Reds head coach Richard Graham has made just one change to his starting XV as Kuridrani returns to the match-day 23 for his first game in three weeks, taking the place of winger Chris Feauai-Sautia, who has been ruled out with concussion.

Graham has named an extended 10-man bench for Saturday’s match in the 300th encounter between the two states.

"There hasn’t been a lot of change due to injuries within the squad, we made enough changes in the first 16 rounds to last a number of seasons," said Graham.

"I wanted to give the players an opportunity to develop combinations and confidence as we look to finish the season with a win in Sydney.

"I am yet to finalise the bench due to a few bumps and bruises I went with a six-two split last week given the threat the Chiefs provide in the forward pack I might look to run that way again but I’ll see how we are after our session Saturday morning.

"Hendrik (Tui) was our 18th debutant last weekend It has been a frustrating season for him but anyone who watched the game closely would have seen the reasons why we brought him to the Reds He has also been a fantastic contributor off the field around Ballymore and at his local club Norths."

Graham said his side was looking forward to the clash with New South Wales, a fixture both sides will be highly motivated for.

"It is always a game full of expectation," he said.

"I spoke to the players earlier in the week about last impressions It will be the last opportunity in 2015 they have to leave strong memories with their teammates, the rest of the competition and more importantly with the people who support them each week We have a responsibility to make sure our performance is physical, is accurate and is 80 minutes."

This Saturday’s match will be the 300th between Queensland and New South Wales in Rugby Union, after the sides first met in 1882 The sides have met 23 times in Super Rugby since 1996, with 13 wins to the Reds and one draw.

Reds: 15 James O’Connor, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (c). 
Replacements: (two players to be omitted) 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Pettowa Paraka, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ed O’Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Hendrik Tui, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 Jake McIntyre, 24 Ben Tapuai, 25 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Date: Saturday, 13 June 
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney    
Kick-off: 19:40 local (09:40 GMT, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST)
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien, Michael Hogan
TMO: Ian Smith