Reds get Cooper back for Kings clash

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 06:35
Large quade cooper v lions 2017 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Reds head coach Nick Stiles has made six changes to his starting side for their match against the Southern Kings, headlined by the return of key players Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt.

Cooper has returned from a three-week suspension due to a high tackle and resumes the role of starting flyhalf, while Hunt has recovered from a concussion suffered two weeks ago to start at fullback.
 
The only other change to the backline is the promotion of Izaia Perese to starting wing, with Chris Kuridrani shifted to the bench.
 
In the forwards, hooker Alex Mafi has earned his first start in Super Rugby after making his debut for Queensland off the bench last weekend. Andrew Ready returns to the side in the reserves, with Stephen Moore left out of the matchday 23. Centre Samu Kerevi will captain the side in Moore's absence.
 
Lock Lukhan Tui has earned his first start of the 2017 season, in place of Kane Douglas, who is on the bench.
The other change to the forward pack sees Japanese Test player Hendrik Tui return to starting blindside flank, with Adam Korczyk moved to the reserves.
 
Nick Frisby has also returned to the matchday 23 as reserve scrumhalf.
 
This weekend's match will also feature a significant milestone for veteran flank George Smith, who becomes just the seventh player in the history of the competition and only the third Australian player to reach 150 Super Rugby caps.
 
Stiles said: "It's great to welcome Quade and Karmichael back into the starting side. They're both experienced leaders and are desperate to help guide the team to a win this weekend.
 
"It's also a significant match for George. He's been a great influence since joining the team, is one of the greatest players Australia has ever produced, and it would be nice to celebrate his milestone with a win.
 
"One of the strengths of this squad is its depth and we're continuing to test that and develop experience within the younger players. As we've done with other players, we felt it was necessary to manage Stephen's workload throughout the year, which is why he's not taking part in this match.
 
"This is an important game for us. We're back at our home ground and the team is keen to bounce back from a disappointing performance last weekend."
 
Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi (captain), 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Sef Fa'agase.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Date: Saturday, April 15
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 15.05 (07.05 SA Time; 05.05 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
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Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
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Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
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Pool SA1
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Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
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Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
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Kings 15 6 0 9 28