Planet Rugby

Reds receive Ioane boost

18th April 2013 07:08

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Digby Ioane on the touchline

On the wing: Digby Ioane

The Reds are boosted by the return of Wallaby wing Digby Ioane for their Australian derby meeting with the Brumbies in Brisbane on Saturday.

Ioane is the sole change to the starting line-up which defeated the reigning Super Rugby champion Chiefs 31-23 at the weekend with the dynamo now recovered from a knee complaint which forced him to miss their two most recent wins.

Flyer Rod Davies has been rewarded for his standout two try effort against the Chiefs with selection on the opposite wing while 2012 Wallaby debutant Dom Shipperley will be injected into the match from the bench.

The return of Ioane strengthens the Reds line-up as they look to retain the Rod Macqueen Cup they gained possession of last year for the first time since its inception in 2005.

The Cup is symbolic of the traditional rivalry between the Reds and Brumbies and is up for grabs annually as part of a two-game series during the Super Rugby regular season.

Saturday's contest will also determine which side will lead both the Super Rugby competition and Australian Conference heading into the second half of the tournament with the Reds (31 competition points) only marginally behind the table-topping Brumbies (33).

"This is a game we've had on our minds since round one so it's good to be returning home to Suncorp Stadium and getting another crack at the Brumbies," director of coaching Ewen McKenzie said.

"Our game has improved a lot since then and we also have the added benefit this week of continuity in our selections as there hasn't been the need to make a lot of changes.

"There have been a number of guys return from injury recently and we're expecting even more to come back into the mix during the next few weeks. That puts us in a good space, especially heading into what is an important game against the Brumbies.

"We're beginning to build strong combinations and the guys not in the matchday squad right now are working hard and pushing those above them for a spot, which has improved the team as a whole.

"This week we get Digby back which will add more firepower to our attack while Rod played well last week and deserves another chance."

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 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 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 22 Dom Shipperley.

Date: Saturday, April 20
Kick-off: 19:40 local (10:40 BST, 09:40 GMT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Waratahs1658
2Crusaders1651
3Sharks1650
4Brumbies1645
5Chiefs1644
6Highlanders1642
7Hurricanes1641
8Western Force1640
9Bulls1638
10Blues1637
11Stormers1632
12Lions1631
13Reds1628
14Cheetahs1624
15Melbourne Rebels1621
Australian Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Waratahs1658
2Brumbies1645
3Western Force1640
4Reds1628
5Melbourne Rebels1621
New Zealand Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Crusaders1651
2Chiefs1644
3Highlanders1642
4Hurricanes1641
5Blues1637
South African Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks1650
2Bulls1638
3Stormers1632
4Lions1631
5Cheetahs1624