Rodda and Nabuli 'back in the mix' for Reds

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 08:03
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Reds head coach Brad Thorn will hope that his modifications during the off-season will pay off as his side welcome back Izack Rodda and Eto Nabuli into the starting XV for a trip to Melbourne Rebels.

Izack Rodda, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, earned a starting spot ahead of Kane Douglas, who shifts to the bench.

While, fully-fit Nabuli (wrist) returns in place of Izaia Perese, who suffered a knee injury in the match against the Fiji Warriors.

The match will also see former National Rugby Championship representative Brandon Paenga-Amosa make his Queensland and Super Rugby debut as the side’s starting hooker. The 22-year-old joined the Reds from the NSW Country Eagles in November last year, following the announcement of Stephen Moore’s retirement.
The Reds have also named three potential Super Rugby debutants on the bench in flank Liam Wright, scrumhalf Tate McDermott and wing Filipo Daugunu. While JP Smith is in line to make his Queensland debut, having previously represented the Brumbies in Super Rugby.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "There’s a lot of excitement within the group to have finally reached this point in the season. Pre-season was a tough slog, but we were pleased with the work. Now it’s time for the real thing.
"For the coaches, the pleasing thing is it wasn’t an easy task to select this first team. There was a lot of competition for spots, everyone had to fight to earn a place in the team.
"It’s obviously a positive for us to have Izack (Rodda) and Eto (Nabuli) back in the mix. The medical staff have done a great job to get them back in time for our first match and the players themselves have worked hard to get themselves right for it. We’re disappointed not to have Izaia (Perese), but Eto will step into that role and it also provides an opportunity for Filipo (Daugunu) to come off the bench.
"There are a few guys in line to make their debut on Friday and that’s always a special time. What’s important is that we make it a memorable one for them,"

Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jono Lance, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Caleb Timu, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Filipo Daugunu

Date: Friday, February 23
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off:  19.40 (8.40 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Mon, 12 March 2018
Wits v UJ 17 | 29
CUT-Ixias v UP-Tuks 26 | 54
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4