Speedster Digby Ioane has completed his recovery from an off-season knee operation and is clear to join a full strength QR Reds side to face the Highlanders in Friday night’s opening Investec Super 14 match at Suncorp Stadium
Reds Rugby reports that the 2007 Wallaby wing, who returned home from Western Australia to link up with the Reds this season, was rested from the pre-season trial matches to fast track his rehabilitation.
With Ioane emerging untroubled from a final fitness test, Head Coach Phil Mooney was able to name a full complement of 13 current or former Wallabies in his starting lineup, with a further two on the bench.
“This is the match we’ve been working towards during the pre-season and with Digby back on deck, we’re at full strength. We’re looking forward to it,” said Mooney.
Former Waratahs Morgan Turinui and Chris Siale will earn their first Queensland caps after being selected as the centre pairing, while Ioane will also be making his Reds’ debut.
While there is a wealth of experience in the run-on 15, Mooney has added a new face to the bench, where Reds Academy prop Dayna Edwards has an opportunity to win his first Queensland cap.
The 23-year old moved to Brisbane from Sydney this year following a strong performance in the Australian Rugby Championship.
“It’s important for us to develop depth in our front row stocks,” said Mooney.
“Dayna has been training with the senior squad and impressed during the trial matches, so we’ve moved him up another level by naming him on the bench,” Mooney said.
The team is:
Starting XV: 1 Greg Holmes, 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Rodney Blake, 4 Van Humphries, 5 James Horwill, 6 Hugh McMeniman, 7 David Croft, 8 John Roe (c), 9 Sam Cordingley, 10 Berrick Barnes, 11 Clinton Schifcofske, 12 Chris Siale, 13 Morgan Turinui, 14 Digby Ioane, 15 Chris Latham.
Reserves: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Dayna Edwards, 18 Ed O’Donoghue, 19 Leroy Houston, 20 Will Genia, 21 Andrew Walker, 22 Peter Hynes.Tweet