Reds make two changes for Waratahs

Queensland Reds head coach Richard Graham has named his Super Rugby team to play the Waratahs this weekend at Suncorp Stadium with James Horwill and Ben Tapuai returning to the starting lineup.

Graham has made just two changes to the starting lineup that lost to the Highlanders in Dunedin last week, with Horwill’s return shifting South African Marco Kotze to the replacements bench and Ben Tapuai returning from injury to replace Samu Kerevi who has not recovered from a cork suffered last week.

“James Horwill’s hand has mended well and it’s good to get him back. He has a lot of experience at this level which adds a good balance to the forward pack,” Graham said.

“Ben Tapuai is itching to be involved after a longer than expected pre-season as a result of his hamstring injury. He has spent the last few weeks with the team and is familiar with the way we want to play.”

Graham said his team had focussed on its own preparations all week, but could not look past the great history of rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales.

“We continue to drive change in our game and are progressing areas each week. The outcome of the game will be determined by the collective effort of the group, not the actions of an individual.

“The rivalry between the two states goes back over a 100 years. We cannot forget all those past players who have represented Queensland, only 1,300 in total. Before Super Rugby this fixture would have been the biggest game most of them played in during their Rugby careers and while today’s players have the opportunity to play a lot more games against many other teams we cannot forget the tradition of this game and those players who put Queensland Rugby on the map.

“It wasn’t until James Slipper and I talked after the recent Force match I truly understood how passionate, how devoted Queenslanders are to supporting their teams. After a less than average start against the Brumbies and a week of rain and wind – rusted on supporters, older folk, younger folk, parents with kids all turned out in their Reds kit to cheer the team to victory. Their commitment to be there and passion struck me that night as being something special, something Queensland.”

Queensland and New South Wales have met 23 times in Super Rugby history, with the Reds coming out victors in 13 occasions, along with nine losses and one draw. The rivalry extends well beyond that, with Queensland and New South Wales first meeting on a Rugby field in 1882.

Queensland Reds

1. James Slipper, 2. Saia Fainga’a, 3. Sam Talakai, 4. Dave McDuling, 5. James Horwill, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. Liam Gill, 8. Jake Schatz, 9. Will Genia, 10. James O’Connor, 11. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12. Anthony Fainga’a, 13. Ben Tapuai, 14. Chris Kuridrani, 15. Lachie Turner

Replacements : 16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Sef Faagase, 19. Marco Kotze, 20. Curtis Browning, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Sam Johnson, 23. Campbell Magnay

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