Reds change one for Rebels

Date published: June 25 2014

Reds coach Richard Graham has made one change to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.

Reds coach Richard Graham has made one change to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.

The forward pack remains unchanged from their last match, against the Highlanders, before the June Test window. The Wallabies contingent of James Horwill, Rob Simmons and James Slipper are in good health and named in the starting XV.

Just one change has been made to the back-line that started the Highlanders match, with Nick Frisby named at scrum-half in place of the injured Will Genia, who is out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season after undergoing ankle surgery last week.

Frisby will partner Reds' utility Ben Lucas in the halves, who started at flyhalf against the Highlanders last month, after a shoulder injury ruled Quade Cooper out for the remainder of the season.

While the team will be without a familiar partnership in Genia/Cooper, Graham was confident the new pairing would deliver.

“Someone mentioned to me yesterday that it is the first time since 2008 that neither Will (Genia) or Quade (Cooper) have been in the Reds starting line-up,” Graham told the Reds' official website.

“Whilst that is unfortunate, I see that as a great opportunity for Pickle (Nick Frisby) and Benny (Lucas) to control the shape of our game. I have absolute confidence in the pair of them delivering what is required.

“I expect that the rest of the match squad will be very keen to support the two boys (Frisby and Lucas). They understand what their contribution needs to be and how they can influence the game.”

In the absence of Genia, Graham has named centre Anthony Fainga'a as Reds vice-captain.

“Ant (Fainga'a) deserves the opportunity to be named vice-captain. He demands high standards of himself and has demonstrated on countless occasions his willingness to lead by his actions,” added Graham.

The match sees the welcome return of several players from injury, with Saia Fainga'a, Ben Daley and Lachie Turner named in the reserves.

Both Fainga'a and Daley missed the Highlanders match due to calf and thumb injuries, respectively, while Turner has been out of action since March due to an ankle injury.

“Dales (Ben Daley), Lachie (Turner) and Saia (Fainga'a) all deserved a recall to the bench having worked hard to overcome injury. It has been a long slog for them, but the reward is being named in a squad that is determined to finish the season strongly,” Graham said.

Reds outside back Aidan Toua is expected to be available for selection next week, after recovering from a pectoral injury sustained in March, while outside back Chris Feauai-Sautia (shoulder) and flanker Eddie Quirk (knee) will not be available again this season.

Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 Dom Shipperley, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Ben Daley, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Samuela Kerevi, 22 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 23 Lachie Turner.

Date: Friday, June 27
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.40 local (09.40 GMT, 10.40 BST)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)