Super Rugby: Reds looking to bounce back against Cheetahs
Reds head coach Richard Graham has made five changes to the team that lost to the Waratahs to face Cheetahs.
Last Updated: 07/03/14 8:09am
The Reds were soundly beaten 32-5 by the Waratahs last weekend and Graham has reacted by handing a host of players their first starts of the 2014 season.
Rod Davies will play his first game for the Reds since July 2013, having successfully worked his way back from a knee reconstruction. He replaces Lachie Turner on the right wing, who has been ruled out due to a persistent knee injury suffered in a pre-season clash with the Chiefs.
Also in the backs, Mike Harris has been injected back into the starting line-up, after missing last weekend's game due to ankle soreness. Harris replaces Anthony Fainga'a at inside centre and will be joined in midfield by Chris Feauai-Sautia. Both Fainga'a and Ben Tapuai have been moved to the bench.
In the forwards, James Hanson will make his first start of the year, replacing Saia Fainga'a in the side. Prop Ben Daley also comes into the starting side for the first time, taking over from James Slipper at loosehead. Both Fainga'a and Slipper suffered corks on the weekend.
This weekend's match sees the potential for Reds fly-half Quade Cooper to break the existing points-scoring record for a Reds player in Super Rugby.
The record is currently held by Elton Flatley, who scored 629 points in 86 Super Rugby appearances. Cooper currently sits on 620 points scored in 89 appearances.
Cheetahs boss Naka Drotske has made three changes for the trip to Brisbane.
The big news from the Bloemfontein-based outfit's camp is that Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen is returning home from the tour with a neck injury which could rule him out for the rest of the season.
His place in the run-on side has been taken by former Baby Bok Maks van Dyk in the only change to the pack that lost to the Rebels in Melbourne last weekend.
Oosthuizen's place in the touring squad has been taken by Rossouw de Klerk, who has been named amongst the replacements.
In the back-line, Hennie Daniller returns to his regular position at full-back with Willie le Roux shifting to the left wing to replace the injured Raymond Rhule.
The only other change sees Rayno Benjamin coming into the side at the expense of Cornal Hendricks who drops down to the replacements bench.
Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley. 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Ben Tapuai.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks.
Watch Reds v Cheetahs live on Sky Sports 2HD from 8.30am on Friday