QR Reds scrumhalf Sam Cordingley will be given until Thursday to prove his fitness for Saturday’s round three Investec Super 14 match against the Brumbies in Canberra.
Reds Rugby reports that Cordingley has been bracketed with reserve scrumhalf Will Genia, with Academy youngster Ben Lucas on standby to come onto the bench if Cordingley does not recover sufficiently from the groin strain he suffered against the Hurricanes in round 2.
“We’ll give Sam every chance, as he is such an experienced and valuable member of the side. But if he’s not right we’re more than happy to hand the number 9 jersey to Will and bring Benny Lucas onto the bench,” QR Reds coach Phil Mooney said.
Powerful backrower Leroy Houston will make his first starting appearance at number 8, with QR Reds skipper John Roe moving to blindside flanker to replace the injured Hugh McMeniman (broken ankle). Roe will celebrate his 100th appearance for Queensland in Saturday’s match.
Houston’s place on the bench will be taken by AJ Gilbert, who is at the opposite end of the experience scale to Roe, having just one Super 14 cap to his name. The dreadlocked Gilbert, who hails from Dorrigo in northern NSW, may get the chance to go head to head with one of his boyhood rugby heroes, Wallaby and Brumbies flanker George Smith.
“AJ has been in terrific form with the QAS Reds 2nd XV in their two unbeaten matches this season and deserves a shot at the Brumbies,” Mooney said.
Flyhalf Berrick Barnes has fully recovered from the cold that forced him from the field early in the second half against the Hurricanes.
The QR Reds side is:
1. Greg Holmes, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Rodney Blake, 4. Van Humphries, 5. James Horwill, 6. John Roe (c), 7. David Croft, 8. Leroy Houston, 9. Sam Cordingley/Will Genia, 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. AJ Gilbert, 20. Will Genia/Ben Lucas (one to be omitted), 21. Peter Hynes, 22. Quade CooperTweet