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, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
EP Kings v Griquas 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 15h10 Johannesburg
Kings v Highlanders 17h15 Port Elizabeth
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
Thu, 07 July 2016
Griquas v Pumas 17h00 Kimberley
Fri, 08 July 2016
Blues v Brumbies 07h35 Auckland
Reds v Chiefs 09h40 Brisbane
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Sat, 09 July 2016
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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 9 0 4 39
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 13 10 0 3 46
Crusaders 13 10 0 3 45
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9