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
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5