Horwill back to captain Reds

Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:48
Large james horwill reds lead out Large digby ioane reds ball Large james horwill gumguard Large willgeniareds2 Large digby ioane reds run

Reds and Wallabies captain James Horwill will make his long-awaited return from injury in Saturday's crucial Round Six Super Rugby match.

Queensland Reds and Wallabies captain James Horwill will make his long-awaited return from injury in Saturday's crucial Round Six Super Rugby match against South Africa's Bulls in Brisbane.

Horwill's frustrating 10-month injury lay-off is set to come to an end with the inspirational Reds leader preparing to run out at Suncorp Stadium for the first time since tearing his hamstring on May 26 last year in Queensland's 13-12 Super Rugby victory over the Brumbies in Canberra.

The talented Wallabies captain is among five changes made to the starting line-up, along with hooker James Hanson, flank Jarrad Butler, wing Digby Ioane and centre Anthony Faingaa.

Hanson receives his first starting opportunity of the season following five dynamic early season cameos from the bench while Extended Playing Squad member Jarrad Butler replaces the injured Liam Gill, who is expected to miss just one game with a minor knee injury.

After being a matchday withdrawal from last weekend's loss to the Western Force, Faingaa has recovered from a back injury to earn his place in the No.13 jersey.

The Reds also have two potential debutants on their five-two forward-heavy split on the bench with Extended Playing Squad talent Nigel Ah Wong and Reds College back row forward Curtis Browning in line to wear the Reds jersey in Super Rugby for the first time.

Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie welcomed Horwill back to the side.

"Getting James back on the field has been a long time coming and everyone is extremely excited to see him back after what has been a frustrating 10 months without Rugby," McKenzie said.

"In a perfect world he would have returned sooner if not for an ankle injury he suffered in an unlucky instance at training, but he has handled every challenge thrown at him with class and is now ready to go.

"Unfortunately, we do lose Liam Gill for the match through injury. While we don't consider his injury severe, it's too early in the season to risk putting him out there and ultimately suffering further damage.  

"Saia is another that has been battling a neck issue but he has shown us enough during the week to push his way onto the bench.  Pleasingly, James Hanson has also been playing very well and he gets his chance in the starting team.

"Digby will no doubt have added motivation this week after missing the Force game while Anthony is also raring to go after being forced to withdraw from last weekend's match on the morning of the game.

"On the bench, Curtis and Nigel have been two guys who have continued to improve at training and make the most of their opportunities in the Reds College XV's three-match program."

The Reds will be determined to secure a result against the Bulls on Saturday with Queensland boasting a strong record against the South Africans when playing at home, winning eight of nine matches on Queensland soil.

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Ed O'Donoghue, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Curtis Browning, 20 Nigel Ah Wong, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Mike Harris.

Date: Saturday, March 23
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.40 (10.40 SA time; 08.40 GMT)
Referee: James Leckie (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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Sat, 07 May 2016
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Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 12h15 Port Elizabeth
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
Fri, 13 May 2016
Highlanders v Crusaders 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Brumbies 09h40 Melbourne
Blue Bulls v Pumas 13h00 Loftus Versfeld
Eagles v Falcons 17h00 Outeniqua Park
Border v Leopards 17h00 East London
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 10 6 0 4 25
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 10 2 1 7 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 9 8 0 1 37
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
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Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 9 6 1 2 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
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Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4