The Queensland Reds have named their strongest available line-up to face the Lions on Saturday. In contrast to the Force, who rested many of their front-line players in yesterday’s 69-17 defeat to the tourist, the Reds have included many players with vast Super Rugby experience.
While they are without seven of their Wallaby stars, there are nine internationally capped players in the starting XV, and a further three on the bench, accounting for 127 caps in total. Maverick fly-half Quade Cooper is the biggest name on the teamsheet, starting at 10 and hoping to show Australia head coach Robbie Deans why he should receive a call-up to the international squad.
“Playing against The British and Irish Lions is a once in a career type opportunity, so to be running out in front of a sold-out Suncorp Stadium crowd on Saturday night will be an experience these 23 players will never forget,” head coach Ewen McKenzie said.
“Our approach was always going to be to field as strong a line-up as possible and I’ve got every confidence in the group we’ve chosen to go out and compete against a very talented Lions squad.”
The Reds will be looking to become the first Australian province to beat the Lions in a tour game since Queensland famously defeated them 15-11 in their opening tour game of 1971.
Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Ed O’Donoghue, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Sam Denny, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Jono Lance, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Dom Shipperley.