Reds reward Rodda and Perese
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Reds have made three changes to their starting side for this weekend's match against the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium.
Recent debutants lock Izack Rodda and wing Izaia Perese in line for their run-on debuts after strong performances off the bench in the opening stages of the competition.
Last year's Pilecki Medal runner up, Hendrik Tui, has also been promoted to the starting side at blindside flank for the first time this season. Lock Kane Douglas, flank Adam Korczyk and wing Chris Kuridrani have been moved from the starting side to the reserves.
"None of us were happy with last week's performance," said Reds head coach Nick Stiles. "We addressed it and moved on and are looking forward to the opportunity to test ourselves against a difficult opponent this weekend.
“We knew there would be setbacks along the way as this group continued its development. The setback isn't as important as how we respond to it. That's the challenge presented to the team this weekend.
"The changes to the starting team reflect the depth we have in the squad at the moment. Everyone has worked hard and deserve their opportunities. As coaches, we want guys challenging for starting spots every week. There are no guarantees when it comes to selection."
Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani.
Date: Saturday, March 11
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18.45 (21.35 NZDT; 08.35 GMT)
Referee: William Houston (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)