100 up for Simmons

Date published: May 12 2016

Reds lock Rob Simmons will earn a milestone 100th cap for his franchise this Saturday when they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Simmons made his Super Rugby debut for his state against the Bulls in 2009 and has grown into one of the side's most senior figures in recent years.

He was part of the Reds revival which saw them claim a Super Rugby title in 2011 and has also represented his country 60 times, including two Rugby World Cup tournaments.

At 27-years-old, he will become the youngest forward to have reached 100 caps for Queensland when he takes the field against the Hurricanes this weekend.

The Reds have made one change to the starting side for this weekend’s match, with a groin injury to Karmichael Hunt opening the door for Ayumu Goromaru to return at full-back.

Injury has also forced a change to the reserves, with hooker Saia Fainga’a replaced by Matt Mafi after undergoing foot surgery that will sideline him for seven weeks.

Reds co-interim head coach Nick Stiles said: "We’ve got another tough match this weekend against a very strong Kiwi team.

"The team recognises the significance of this match, both in testing ourselves against one of the competition leaders and in putting up a performance worthy of Rob Simmons' 100th cap for Queensland. It’s a fantastic achievement for Rob and he joins an elite group of centurions who have represented this state. It’s a just reward for his dedication and professionalism over a number of years.

"Injury has meant that we’ve had to make a couple of changes to the side, but the guys we’re bringing in are familiar with what we’re trying to do and we’re confident in what they can offer. Being able to bring a guy of Ayumu Goromaru’s experience straight into the starting side is a big benefit for us. This is a good opportunity for him to step up and demonstrate what we know he is capable of."

Reds: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Matt Mafi, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Junior Laloifi

Date: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Referees: Angus Mabey, Brett Johnson
TMO: Glenn Newman