St.George Queensland Reds head coach Richard Graham has named his side to take on the Brumbies in their 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby season opener in Canberra this weekend.
The match sees Aidan Toua claim the Reds’ fullback jersey, in his first Super Rugby match since Reds v Hurricanes in March last year.
With five Super Rugby appearances for the Reds in two seasons, Toua enjoyed a strong pre-season and is ready to add to his experience at this level.
The match will also feature former Waratahs flyer Lachie Turner playing his first Super Rugby game for the Reds, after staking his claim with solid performances at wing and fullback in the pre-season.
Coach Graham said he was pleased with the work of his squad in the lead up to the opening round.
“We are glad this time has arrived. We’ve had more than four months of pre-season training,” Graham said.
“The entire squad has worked hard to prepare for the season and as a consequence there is a lot of competition for spots within our squad.”
Graham said the team was looking forward to the clash and he expected the Brumbies will continue to play to their strengths.
“The Brumbies are a team that play strong field position, maul well, squeeze teams defensively and look to accumulate points when they’re on offer,” he said.
“Traditionally the early rounds of Super Rugby tend to be highly physical encounters. Add to that the fact it is a derby and you can expect a fairly bruising opening round of the Australian conference.
“After playing the Chiefs and Rebels in our pre-season games, we feel we are well prepared for this weekend.”
St.George Queensland Reds v Brumbies (Canberra)?1. James Slipper ?2. Saia Fainga’a? 3. Greg Holmes ?4. Rob Simmons ?5. James Horwill (C)? 6. Eddie Quirk ?7. Liam Gill? 8. Jake Schatz?9. Will Genia (VC)? 10. Quade Cooper ?11. Dom Shipperley ?12. Mike Harris ?13. Ben Tapuai? 14. Lachie Turner ?15. Aidan Toua
Reserves? 16. James Hanson? 17. Ben Daley ?18. Jono Owen ?19. Ed O’Donoghue? 20. Beau Robinson ?21. Nick Frisby ?22. Anthony Fainga’a ?23. Chris Feauai-Sautia