Cape Town – The Reds have named their team to play the Hurricanes in
Wellington this Friday, with captain Scott Higginbotham returning to the
They have made three personnel changes to the starting side
which lost to the Sunwolves last weekend and a further three to the reserves.
In the forwards, Higginbotham’s return from a calf injury
sees him resume his role as starting number eight, with Angus Scott-Young
shifting to blindside flanker and Adam Korczyk dropping out of the match day
JP Smith has also been named at starting loose head prop.
James Slipper was not considered for selection for welfare reasons.
In the backs, Duncan Paia’aua has been promoted to the
starting side, after Chris Feauai-Sautia failed to recover from a concussion
suffered against the Sunwolves. Paia’aua has been named at inside centre, with
Kerevi shifting to outside centre.
On the bench, the Reds have made changes to the reserve
front-row, with hooker Andrew Ready earning selection for the first time since
Round 5 and Ruan Smith returning, after not being considered for selection last
week. Alex Mafi and Harry Hoopert have dropped out of the 23.
Outside back Izaia Perese has also returned to the reserves,
named in the place made available by Paia’aua’s promotion.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “It’s pleasing to be able
to welcome Scott (Higginbotham) back into the side. He’s had a tough run this
year, not playing a lot of Rugby, but he made his way back from injury with a
game for Wests last weekend and he’ll add a lot of experience and leadership to
“It’s a shame to lose Chris (Feauai-Sautia) to injury, but
it presents an opportunity for Duncan (Paia’aua). He has been working hard on
his game. We’re excited to see what he brings to the starting side. It also
allows us to bring Izaia (Perese) back onto the bench. He was disappointed not
to be involved last week, so we expect a big impact from him.
“We’re also welcoming the twins and Andrew (Ready) back into
the side. Andrew (Ready) has been chipping away and playing club Rugby, so he’s
excited for another crack. The twins are also keen to get back into the side
after missing out last weekend.
“The key thing for everyone this week is working hard and
making the most of the opportunity presented to us. It’s a challenge, but we
should be excited by that.
“It was an incredibly disappointing result on the weekend
but we need to move on from that poor performance. We’re up against one of the
better teams in the competition. It will be a challenge.
“We knew there would be some tough lessons to learn this
season, but we need to learn quickly and this Friday presents an opportunity to
act on the disappointment from last weekend.”
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Julian Savea
15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Izaia Perese, 23 Aidan Toua