No Ioane for Reds

Date published: March 27 2013

The Reds will be without Wallaby wing Digby Ioane for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.

The Reds will be without Wallaby wing Digby Ioane for Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Ioane suffered bone bruising in last weekend's narrow victory over the Bulls. The Queenslanders will also be without speedster Chris Feauai-Sautia (thigh strain), however both are expected to be fit to face the Chiefs following next week's bye.

Hooker Saia Faingaa (neck), scrum-half Nick Frisby (ankle) and utility back Mike Harris (hand) are also unavailable for selection.

As a result, the Reds will field a new winger pairing in the form of Luke Morahan and Dom Shipperley in the starting XV.

Flanker Liam Gill makes his return from injury and joins lock Rob Simmons in the two other changes made to the starting line-up.

Simmons reunites with captain James Horwill in the second row, the first time the duo will start a match together since the Reds clash against the Brumbies on May 26 last year.

Despite the changes, Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie said it was business as usual as they continued preparations for Friday, with the Reds chasing their first-ever victory in Dunedin in the professional rugby era.

While the Reds have a strong record against the Highlanders in Queensland, winning seven of their nine games played, they are yet to topple the Highlanders on New Zealand soil.

“We've always had the mentality of backing the next guy in line and there is no reason not to be positive or excited about our prospects against the Highlanders,” said McKenzie.

“We aren't in a situation we've never dealt with before and there have been plenty of games where we've faced challenging circumstances but still come out on top.

“Two games that really stick in my mind are wins against the Chiefs in my first two seasons here, where we battled injuries but still travelled to New Zealand and got a result.

“The attitudinal pieces from the group were of a high standard in the lead-up to those games and we'll be expecting exactly the same this week.

“We also have guys like Rod Davies and Ben Daley who have been itching for an opportunity, and now that their injuries are behind them, they get one.

“Of the injured guys, we have the benefit of the bye next week so we don't want to take any risks. We'll be aggressive with their treatment in the next fortnight and hope to see as many back as possible for the Chiefs.”

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Aidan Toua, 22 Rod Davies.

Date: Friday, March 29
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)