SUPER RUGBY Preview : Reds v Force

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The Reds have named their side for their first home game of the 2016 season as they look to bounce back against the Force.

Head coach Richard Graham has made two changes to the starting lineup. An ankle injury to Henry Teafu (six to eight weeks) has forced a backline shuffle, with Karmichael Hunt shifting to inside centre and Japanese Test player Ayumu Goromaru making his run-on debut at full-back.

On the bench, Ballymore Kid contract winner Junior Laloifi is in line to make his Queensland and Super Rugby debut after being named as cover for the outside backs.

Graham said his side was looking forward to their first home game of the year.

“This is an important game for us and we’re pleased it is at Suncorp Stadium. We are continuing to build and the support of our home supporters will be important,” he said.

Wallaby number eight Ben McCalman has been named on the bench in one of three changes to the Western Force team set to do battle with the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, with both sides on the hunt for their first win of the season.

Coming off a stint in the Japanese Top League following the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign McCalman was rested for the first round clash with the Rebels bit is fully fit and refreshed as the team make the journey to Suncorp.

Fijian-born flyer, Semisi Masirewa gets his first Super Rugby start after showing promise in 13 minutes of the bench on debut in Round One.

Foley said he is happy to have McCalman back in the side and is looking forward to see what Masirewa can do in his first start.

“It’s great to have Ben back he brings a lot of experience to our side,” he said. “As it is he first game back after a few weeks off after getting back from Japan we will look for him to provide us with some impact off the bench.”

“Semisi was good for us in the trial matches and did well in his time off the bench last week. He is a determined guy and I’m sure he will be looking to make the most of his first opportunity in the run-on team.”

The front row remains unchanged with veteran loosehead Pek Cowan linking up with hooker Nathan Charles and Guy Millar at tighthead.

Steve Mafi and Adam Coleman will again partner in the second row. Rounding out the forward pack Matt Hodgson, Brynard Stander and Angus Cottrell will make up the back row.

In the backline, scrum-half Alby Mathewson will again look to provide quality service for Jono Lance at fly-half. In the centres Solomoni (Junior) Rasolea comes in at number 12 to replace the injured Kyle Godwin while Ben Tapuai returns to Suncorp Stadium to face his old side for the first time. Masirewa, Luke Morahan and Dane Haylett-Petty will make up the back three.

Coming off the bench, Jermaine Ainsley will back up after and impressive performance on debut along with Peter Grant while Marcel Brache moves to the bench.

The Teams :

Reds: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Curtis Browning, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 Ben Daley
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Sam Balakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Junior Laloifi

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni (Junior Rasolea), 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Ross Haslett-Petty, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Marcel Brache

Date: Saturday, March 5
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18:45 local (08:45 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry, Damien Mitchelmore
TMO: George Ayoub


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