QR Reds Head Coach Phil Mooney has reshuffled his backline and changed the backrow for Saturday’s match against defending Super 14 champions the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium.
Reds rugby reports that the changes include bringing two uncapped players into the 22.
Mooney made six changes to his starting lineup and another two on the bench, including dropping 107 game flanker David Croft to the reserves and promoting uncapped 20-year old QAS Reds Academy backrower Poutasi Luafutu in his place.
19-year old Quade Cooper comes into the side as the starting flyhalf, while Berrick Barnes shifts one place along the backline to inside centre. Morgan Turinui also moves one place out to outside centre, as does Peter Hynes to the wing.
Van Humphries regains his starting spot at lock ahead of Ed O’Donoghue.
Mooney has gone for a 5-2 split of forwards to backs on the bench, to combat the heavyweight Bulls forward pack. Uncapped QAS Academy and Australian Sevens backrower Scott Higginbotham comes onto the bench, while another youngster, 21-year old Ben Lucas replaces reserve scrumhalf Will Genia in the 22. Wing Brando Va’aulu drops back to the bench after starting last week.
It’s been a week of change for the QR Reds, with long serving skipper John Roe handing over the captaincy reins to scrumhalf Sam Cordingley, who will lead the Reds for the first time in a competition match on Saturday.
“There are some young guys getting a big opportunity this week – to play for Queensland against one of the best provincial rugby teams in the world,” Mooney said.
“It will be a big occasion for them and we’re confident they’ll rise to it, with the support of the more experienced players around them.”
The match against the Bulls kicks off at 7pm and will be preceded by a curtain raiser match between the QAS Reds Academy and the Brumby Runners.
The QR Reds team is:
Starting XV: 1. Greg Holmes, 2. Sean Hardman, 3. Dayna Edwards, 4. Van Humphries, 5. James Horwill, 6. John Roe, 7. Poutasi Luafutu, 8. Leroy Houston, 9. Sam Cordingley (c), 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Peter Hynes, 12. Berrick Barnes, 13. Morgan Turinui, 14. Clinton Schifcofske, 15. Chris Latham.
Reserves: 16. Stephen Moore, 17. Rodney Blake, 18. Ed O’Donoghue, 19. David Croft, 20. Ben Lucas, 21. Brando Va’aulu, 22. Scott Higginbotham.