Reds are Ready for Lions

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 16:21

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Reds have made three changes to the matchday 23 for their Round Four Super Rugby encounter with the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Hooker Andrew Ready has gained his first start of the season, coming into the No.2 jersey, with Stephen Moore shifting to the bench.

Lock Kane Douglas also returns to the starting side after Izack Rodda was unable to train fully due to a head knock he suffered against the Crusaders last week.

That change has also allowed Lukhan Tui to come into the matchday 23 for the first time this season as a reserve.
 
"One of the benefits of our squad is we have genuine depth in a number of positions," Reds coach Nick Stiles said.

"Both Andrew and Stephen have been exceptional for us over the first few weeks.
 
"Stephen has started the first few rounds, but we've got complete faith in Andrew to take on the starting role and having a guy of Stephen's quality on the bench provides us with unmatched experience at the back end of the game.
 
"It's disappointing not to be able to give Izack another run, but with the travel over here, he just didn't have enough time to train and get through all the necessary protocols that come with a head knock.

"Again, we've got a lot of quality depth in the lock position. Both Kane and Lukhan bring a lot of aggression and physicality, so they're a good fit for this game.
 
"The Reds haven't had a great track record on this tour [to South Africa] in recent years, but the professionalism and desire we've seen from the squad this week have been pleasing.

"We're here to get results and a win at altitude against a quality team like the Lions would be a great reward for our hard work."

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 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Markus Vanzati, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 01.15 Sunday, Match 19 AEST)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19