'Naughty' duo forced Reds to shuffle pack
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Reds have made two forced personnel changes to their starting XV for their first Super Rugby home game against the Brumbies on Friday.
Captain No.8 Scott Higginbotham and lock Lukhan Tui were both given three-week suspension following the side's 19-45 defeat to the Rebels.
Tui has been replaced by Kane Douglas, while Higginbotham’s absence has caused a reshuffle in the back-row forwards. Liam Wright will make his run-on debut at openside flank, with Caleb Timu shifting to No.8 and Adam Korczyk moving to blindside flank.
Lock Harry Hockings and back-row Angus Scott-Young are also in line for a potential Queensland and Super Rugby debut after being named on the bench. The pair have risen through the Queensland pathway, having represented the state's U20 and Bond University Queensland Country in recent years.
The Reds have also named prop James Slipper as interim captain, in the absence of Higginbotham.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "Friday is our first chance to play in front of our home fans and the guys are keen to bounce back from a disappointing loss last weekend.
"The Brumbies are a solid team. They’re strong at their set-piece and around the breakdown. They’ve been together for a long time, they’ll be a tough challenge.
"Clearly we’re disappointed to lose Scott and Lukhan but it has happened and we just need to get on with it. We had a challenging pre-season and everyone came out the other side better for it, so I’ve got full confidence in the guys that are stepping into those roles.
"We welcomed five new faces to the Reds family last week and there’s the potential for another couple of debutants this Friday. I’ve worked with Harry and Angus for the last two years and I’m excited to see them get an opportunity,"
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 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Filipo Daugunu.
Date: Friday, March 2
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.00 (09.00 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistance Referees: William Houston (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)