Reds head coach Richard Graham has named an unchanged side to take on the Waratahs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney this weekend
Reds head coach Richard Graham has named an unchanged side to take on the Waratahs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney this weekend.
Graham said he wanted to reward the 23-man squad that secured a 27-17 win over the Brumbies in their opening match of the Super Rugby season.
“We needed to start the season strongly. We have a number of away games to begin our campaign and, as a group, we understand the significance of beginning with a win,” said Graham.
“That being said, I thought it was important for us to recognise their efforts and give the same 23 another opportunity against the Waratahs.”
“Michael Cheika wants to base a large part of their game play on a physical and abrasive style. However, we expect them to try to challenge us and throw the ball around as well,” he added.
With the oldest rivalry in Australian Rugby and the Templeton Cup on the line this weekend, Graham said his players had all the motivation they needed to notch their second win of the season.
“There's massive history between these two teams and our players love the rivalry,” Graham said.
“We've won the Templeton Cup in our last five encounters and that is something that the playing group is hugely proud of. They also understand what it means to Queensland Rugby and the players who have gone before them.”
This weekend's match sees the potential for Reds fly-half Quade Cooper to break the existing points-scoring record for a Reds player in Super Rugby.
The record is currently held by Elton Flatley, who scored 629 points in 86 Super Rugby appearances. Cooper currently sits on 620 points scored in 89 games.
This is not to be confused with the overall points-scoring record for Queensland prior to the inception of Super Rugby, which is held by Michael Lynagh on 1,166 points.
Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Chris Feauai-Sautia.
Date: Saturday, 1 March
Venue: ANZ Stadium in Sydney
Kick-off: 19:40 local time (08:40 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)