Reds start rookie flyhalf McIntyre against Rebels

Queensland Super Rugby franchise the Reds have named Australian U20’s flyhalf Jake McIntyre to make his Super Rugby debut this weekend when the Brisbane side host the Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

McIntyre is a member of the Reds Elite Development Squad and the starting flyhalf for the majority of Brisbane City’s title run in the inaugural National Rugby Championship, McIntyre’s inclusion is one of two personnel changes and a number of positional shakeups following last week’s loss to the Crusaders.

McIntyre had a strong season for Brisbane City in the NRC, but has been unavailable for the majority of the 2015 season due to off-season knee surgery.

In the other personnel change, Karmichael Hunt returns to the starting lineup after overcoming an adductor strain to feature in the centres for the first time this season. He will start at outside centre, with Samu Kerevi shifting to inside centre.

Graham has also shuffled the outside backs, with James O’Connor shifting to fullback and Lachie Turner moving to the wing.

In the reserves, lock Ed O’Donoghue has been named to play in his first match of 2015 after recovering from a knee injury suffered in pre-season. Brothers flyhalf Sam Greene stands to make his Super Rugby debut after being named to the bench. The young pivot featured for Brisbane City in the NRC last year and has been impressive for Brothers in Queensland Premier Rugby this year.

Graham said his side recognised the challenge posed by the Rebels this Friday in what is an important clash for both sides.

“There has been a fair bit of self-review going on this week but as they say, the great thing about sport is there is always next week. We find ourselves playing again this Friday night in what we all realise is a must-win game,” Graham said.

“Jake (McIntyre) and I had a discussion about an opportunity for him a few weeks ago. He had a long stint out following the NRC and just needed some time playing club Rugby. We almost gave him a debut last week but felt it was in his best interests to play 80 minutes more on the weekend for Sunnybank.

“Sam (Greene) is another who was involved in the NRC. On the back of that and his desire to get better, his performances have improved this season. I have received plenty of positive feedback on Sam from our numerous scouts. On top of that, Easts and Reds A coach Tim Sampson further endorsed his performances following their clash in Premier Rugby recently.

“Nick (Frisby) suffered a head knock last week and we won’t know until Thursday if he’ll be cleared to play. We couldn’t prepare as a team under those circumstances. He has been a fantastic contributor to the team over the past two months. He has been unselfish and has demonstrated how quickly he has been able to adapt to a very difficult role. People need to remember that through circumstance he was the sixth-choice flyhalf and in my opinion he has done very well. The consistent time on the field now will benefit him greatly moving forward.

“In these times it is not for the team to expect Jake and Sam to solve our problems. They need to be allowed to perform their own roles and the rest of the team needs step up and give them options and opportunity to do that. Will (Genia) has a big role to play in that department and I know he is determined to help them through their debut.

“Likewise the forwards have challenges in front of them. The physicality and work ethic of the group will need to be at their best as the Rebels have built their success on their forwards towards the latter stages of the competition.

“I have made a number of other changes to the backline. Anthony (Fainga’a) suffered a head knock and is unavailable for selection. In shifting Samu (Kerevi) to inside centre we get a strong ball carrier and big body in a lot of traffic.

“By returning Karmichael (Hunt) to the team at outside centre, we hope to get a little bit more talk and variation in the outside channel. I had always thought that given 10 or 12 games he’d naturally shift forward but we haven’t seen too much of him through circumstance. Given our own circumstance, time is not something we have as a luxury and hence the change.”


1. James Slipper (C) , 2. James Hanson , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Rob Simmons (VC) , 5. James Horwill , 6. Adam Thomson , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Jake Schatz , 9. Will Genia , 10. Jake McIntyre (debut) , 11. Lachie Turner , 12. Samu Kerevi , 13. Karmichael Hunt , 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia , 15. James O’Connor

16. Andrew Ready , 17. Pettowa Paraka , 18. Sam Talakai , 19. Ed O’Donoghue , 20. Lolo Fakaosilea , 21. Nick Frisby/Scott Gale , 22. Sam Greene (potential debut) , 23. Ben Tapuai ,

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