Reds back rookie centre

Fri, 15 Feb 2013 07:23
Large ewen mckenzie looks 630

The Reds have backed inexperienced centre Aidan Toua to provide a midfield spark in their Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

The Reds have backed inexperienced centre Aidan Toua to provide a midfield spark in their Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

Director of Rugby Ewan McKenzie has picked Toua at outside centre following impressive pre-season form and his stand-out performance in the Reds No.13 jersey during a 20-13 victory over the Brumbies in 2012.

He joins vice-captain Ben Tapuai in the midfield while Dom Shipperley has won the hotly contested race for the wing position opposite Digby Ioane with goal-kicking ace Mike Harris rounding out the back-three at fullback.

Playmaker Quade Cooper also makes his return to action after missing last year's play-off loss to the Sharks through suspension and will join scrumhalf Ben Lucas in the halves.

Prop James Slipper will captain the Reds as part of a starting front-row which includes Greg Holmes at loosehead prop and Saia Faingaa at hooker.

In the absence of injured skipper James Horwill, locks Rob Simmons and Adam Wallace-Harrison will commence the game in the second-row while Reds College lock Ed O'Donoghue has earned a place on the bench.

The Reds will boast a young yet talented loose trio with Wallaby Liam Gill at openside flank, Eddie Quirk at blindside, and Jake Schatz packing down at the back of the scrum at No.8.

McKenzie has opted for a traditional 4-3 split on the bench with Albert Anae, James Hanson, Jarrad Butler and O’Donoghue covering the forwards and Nick Frisby, Jono Lance and Chris F’Sautia the backs.

"There are a lot of factors that dictate selection, including experience, but we also try to acknowledge current form," McKenzie said.

"Guys such as Aidan Toua and Eddie Quirk haven't played a lot of Super Rugby but have put their hand up during the pre-season.

"We've got some very strong ideas on how we want to play the Brumbies and the entire group has understood since Monday the role they play in that. We've had a great preparation," he added.

Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Aidan Toua, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 James Slipper (captain), 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 James Hanson, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Jono Lance, 22 Chris F'Sautia.

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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28