Reds call on rookie Murphy at 10
Reds call on rookie Murphy at 10SHARE
Reds playmaker Dallan Murphy will receive his first Super Rugby starting XV opportunity after being selected at flyhalf for Sunday’s round five affair against the Bulls in Pretoria.
The 23-year-old will earn his second Super Rugby cap on Sunday as part of a Reds starting line-up which has made seven personnel changes following their narrow 27-22 loss to the Sharks at the weekend.
Murphy made his debut as a replacement in the Reds round 18 contest against the Chiefs in 2011 and brings with him a wealth of experience at the chief playmaking role as the captain and flyhalf of Queensland Premier Rugby heavyweights Brothers and in various Queensland A squads.
In other changes hooker Saia Faingaa will receive his first starting opportunity of 2012 as part of a revamped front row which sees Greg Holmes shift to tighthead and Ben Daley promoted from the bench to loosehead.
Forwards Rob Simmons and Jake Schatz reclaim their spots at lock and number eight respectively while Luke Morahan comes in for suspended Digby Ioane on the wing.
Standout centre Ben Tapuai will move closer to the action after shifting from the No.13 jersey to inside centre while Jono Lance has won selection at outside centre.
After been flown to South Africa on short notice earlier this week as injury cover for Ben Lucas and Mike Harris, outside back Nathan Eyres-Brown could earn his Queensland and Super Rugby debut after being selected on the bench.
“We’re dealing with quite a few injuries but that doesn’t mean we fundamentally change how we play or approach the game and that is reflected in our selections,” coach Ewen McKenzie said.
“Dallan has been in our system for a long time and we have every confidence in his ability to get the job done. We’ve played around with our options at flyhalf this year but Dallan is a natural number 10 so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can offer.
“Injury limited Saia during the early stages of our campaign but he now warrants a chance in our starting team for the first time this year.”
Murphy said he was looking forward to the challenge.
“The Bulls are a formidable opponent but I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve been given and believe the familiarity I’ve had with being in the Reds setup since 2010 will put me in good stead,” Murphy said.
Reds: 15 Rod Davies, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Jono Lance, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Van Humphries, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nathan Eyres-Brown.
Date: Saturday, March 24
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)