QR Reds captain James Horwill will make his long awaited return to rugby against the fourth placed Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
Reds rugby reports that Horwill will be reunited at lock with lineout general Van Humphries, who missed the Reds’ last game against the Sharks with a shoulder injury.
Head Coach Phil Mooney said the return of the two senior locks meant a move for Wallaby flanker Hugh McMeniman back to his preferred blindside flank position, forcing dynamic backrower Scott Higginbotham back to the bench and lock Adam Byrnes out of the game 22.
“It’s a tough call on ‘Higgers’, who’s been playing extremely well for us, and on Byrnesey, who really stepped up against the Sharks,” Mooney said.
“In many ways it was our most difficult selection meeting this year, but it’s important for the team that we have that sort of competition for places.”
The only other change to the team that defeated the previously unbeaten Sharks at Suncorp a fortnight ago was the reserve scrumhalf, where uncapped QAS Reds Academy player Brendan McKibbin will fill in for the suspended Will Genia, who will miss three games for a dangerous tackle during the Sharks match.
Prop Greg Holmes (upper shoulder) and backrower Ezra Taylor (shoulder) were not considered for selection, but flyhalf Quade Cooper (knee) and scrumhalf Ben Lucas (ribs) will be fit to play.
The Reds’ team is:
1. Ben Daley, 2. Sean Hardman, 3. Laurie Weeks, 4. Van Humphries, 5. James Horwill (Capt), 6. Hugh McMeniman, 7. Daniel Braid, 8. Leroy Houston, 9, Ben Lucas, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Peter Hynes, 12. Berrick Barnes, 13. Digby Ioane, 14. Blair Connor, 15. Mark McLinden.
Subs: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Jack Kennedy, 18. Scott Higginbotham, 19. Poutasi Luafutu, 20. Brendan McKibbin, 21. Anthony Faingaa, 22. Rod DaviesTweet