Rocket Rod returns for Reds

10th Apr 2013, 09:23

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Winging it: Rod Davies

Winging it: Rod Davies

Reds winger Rod Davies has earned his first starting opportunity for 2013 in Saturday's Super Rugby blockbuster against the Chiefs.


Reds winger Rod Davies has earned his first starting opportunity for 2013 in Saturday's Super Rugby blockbuster against the Chiefs.

After battling a hamstring injury during the early stages of the year, Davies was impressive in a dynamic cameo off the bench in the Reds' bonus-point victory over the Highlanders almost a fortnight ago.

"It's a big game to be back," he said.

"I'll be going hard and putting my best foot forward and trying to the spark back that I had.

"Lelia Masaga's a powerhouse and he's having one of his better years.

"His tackle breaks are unbelievable.

"I really have to go in hard against him."

Davies is one of two changes made to the matchday squad from the 34-33 victory in Dunedin with fellow winger Chris Feauai-Sautia recovering from a thigh injury to earn his place on the bench.

Captain James Horwill will make his third consecutive start of 2013 and will be joined by Rob Simmons in the second-row; props Greg Holmes and James Slipper and hooker James Hanson in the front-row; and Eddie Quirk, Liam Gill and Jake Schatz in the back-row.

Playmakers Will Genia and Quade Cooper will call the shots for a backline featuring Ben Tapuai and Anthony Faingaa in the centres, Davies and Dom Shipperley on the wings; and Jono Lance at full-back.

McKenzie has opted for a traditional 4-3 split on the bench with hooker Albert Anae, prop Ben Daley, lock Ed O'Donoghue, flanker Jarrad Butler, scrum-half Ben Lucas and outside backs Feauai-Sautia and Aidan Toua.

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Rod Davies, 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 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 22 Aidan Toua.

Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 16:35 (04:35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)