The Reds will hope to snap their losing streak when they go head-to-head with the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium in Round 10.
Following a positive start to the campaign, they have suffered three consecutive defeats, including going down to Conference rivals Brumbies and Waratahs.
All of those reversals were away from home, however, and this encounter may offer them a chance of re-finding their form, but results between Australian and New Zealand franchises over the past year does not make great reading for those to the left of the Tasman Sea.
2016 was the last time one of them emerged triumphant over their Antipodean rivals and the Reds’ recent results is in contrast to the Chiefs, who have won five matches so far this season.
While Colin Cooper’s men went down in their previous match, they are in a decent position in the Super Rugby table and have two backs in excellent form in the shape of Solomon Alaimalo and Damian McKenzie.
Although McKenzie perhaps lacks a bit of control in the fly-half jersey, his running threat has seen him thrive in broken field, while Alaimalo has proven to be similarly dangerous when given the ball.
The Reds also have some talented backs but that has not been shown on the field, with the Queenslanders still struggling to find their fluency in attack.
Brad Thorn has looked to get the foundations sorted and, for a period, their set-piece and defence were impressive, but that has begun to break down over recent rounds.
Thorn needs to see an improvement in those areas, otherwise it could be a long evening for the Brisbane-based outfit.
The last time the teams met: The Chiefs made it a third successive victory over the Reds following a dominant 46-17 triumph in New Plymouth. Although the visitors led via Stephen Moore and Eto Nabuli tries – Kane Hames responding for Dave Rennie’s men – the hosts soon began to control matters and were 39-12 in front by the 55th minute. Charlie Ngatai, Dominic Bird and Stephen Donald (twice) all crossed the whitewash, taking the game out of their opponents’ reach, before Campbell Magnay hit back with a consolation for the Queenslanders. The Chiefs had the final word, however, when James Lowe went over late on.
Team news: George Smith will make his long-awaited return to action after being named in the Reds match-day squad.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn has made three personnel changes to his starting XV which lost to the Waratahs in Sydney last week, with prop Taniela Tupou and scrum-half Ben Lucas returning from injury and flanker Angus Scott-Young promoted to the run-on team.
Tupou’s return from a shoulder injury sees him resume his role as starting tighthead prop, ahead of Ruan Smith, who moves to the bench, with Sef Fa’agase dropping out of the match-day 23.
Lucas has recovered from a concussion suffered against the Brumbies two weeks ago to take the place of James Tuttle, who has dropped out of the 23. A knee injury to Lukhan Tui, has prompted the back-row reshuffle, with Scott-Young taking his place at blindside flanker, earning his first start since Round Six.
Thorn said: “We’ve made a few changes to the team and it’s great to be able to bring Taniela (Tupou) and Ben (Lucas) back into the side. They missed out last week due to injury and they’ll be keen to get stuck in this weekend. They both offer plenty to the team.
“We’re also welcoming George back into the side for the first time this year. It’s great to see the old master return. He brings experience and composure as well as being a real threat at the breakdown.”
Meanwhile, Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper has made four changes to his pack. Cooper has handed starts to loosehead prop Karl Tu’inukuafe, hooker Liam Polwart, lock Tyler Ardron and number eight Pita Gus Sowakula.
On the bench, Samisoni Taukei’aho gets his first opportunity of the season, and Sam Prattley, who has been brought in this week as an interim injury replacement, is in line to make his Chiefs’ debut.
Brad Weber makes a return into the match-day 23 having recovered from his wrist injury and Cooper is looking forward to the game.
“Coming off a loss (to the Hurricanes) makes us more determined,” he said. “We were disappointed with the conversion rate of the line breaks, but the good thing about that game is that there were opportunities, but we just didn’t finish them.
“Playing the Reds in Brisbane will be a tough assignment, and we’ve worked really hard with the leaders on having the right mindset.”
2017: Chiefs won 46-17 in New Plymouth
2016: Chiefs won 50-05 in Brisbane
2015: Chiefs won 24-03 in Brisbane
2013: Reds won 31-23 in Hamilton
2012: Reds won 42-27 in Brisbane
2011: Reds won 19-11 in Hamilton
2010: Reds won 23-18 in Hamilton
2009: Chiefs won 50-26 in Brisbane
2008: Chiefs won 32-20 in Hamilton
2007: Chiefs won 21-19 in Brisbane
Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Izaia Perese, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 George Smith, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jordan Petaia
Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Fa’auli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell
Date: Saturday, April 21
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19:45 local (09:45 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)