Reds playing 'guessing games'

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 08:14
Large ewen mckenzie reds Large james slipper  reds ball Large ewen mckenzie media

Reds boss Ewen McKenzie has opted to keep the Brumbies guessing, ahead of their season-opening Super Rugby encounter in Canberra on Saturday.

Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie has opted to keep the Brumbies guessing, ahead of their season-opening Super Rugby encounter in Canberra on Saturday.

McKenzie named a 23-man squad and even though he knows his starting XV, he will not officially unveil the team formation till just 24 hours before kick-off.

"We chose our team specifically to play this contest," McKenzie said.

"We've been thinking about it for a long time.

"The players have known since Monday who and how we are going to do it and we're happy to reveal the composition tomorrow [Friday]," he added.

The Reds boss revealed that 23 players will be travelling to Canberra ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster Round One grudge match against the Brumbies.

Reds prop and 2012 Pilecki Medal winner James Slipper will captain Queensland in their 2013 season opener, where the Reds will commence their season-long pursuit of a second Super Rugby championship in three years and third straight Australian Conference title.

The match will also be an opportunity for the Reds to build on their recent dominance over Australian Conference opposition with the Reds boasting an impressing winning record of 13 wins from 16 matches against national opposition since the beginning of 2011.

The Reds also claimed the prestigious Rod Macqueen Cup for the first time in 2012 after defeating the Brumbies in both regular season fixtures - 20-13 in Round Seven and 13-12 in Round 14.

Reds:

Forwards: Nigel Ah Wong, Albert Anae, Jarrad Butler, Saia Faingaa, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Greg Holmes, Ed O'Donoghue, Eddie Quirk, Jake Schatz, Rob Simmons, James Slipper (captain), Adam Wallace-Harrison

Backs: Quade Cooper, Chris F'Sautia, Nick Frisby, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Dom Shipperley, Ben Tapuai, Aidan Toua.

Date: Saturday, February 16
Venue: Canberra Stadium Canberra
Kick-off: 19.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia) Ian Smith (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
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Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
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Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
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Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4