Thrashing doesn't mean a shake-up for the Reds, says Graham
QUEENSLAND coach Richard Graham has played down suspicions of a shake-up following last Saturday's 32-5 thrashing at the hands of the Waratahs, for Friday night's game against the Cheetahs at Suncorp Stadium.
Winger Rod Davies will play his first game for the Reds since July 2013, having successfully worked his way back from a knee reconstruction.
Davies will replace Lachie Turner on the right wing, who has been ruled out due to a persistent knee injury suffered in a pre-season match against the Chiefs.
He is expected to be fit to travel to South Africa.
Also in the backs, Mike Harris has been injected back into the starting line-up, after missing last weekend's game due to ankle soreness.
Harris replaces Anthony Fainga'a at inside centre and will be joined by Chris Feauai-Sautia at outside centre for his first start of the year.
Both Fainga'a and Ben Tapuai have been moved to the reserves.
In the forwards, James Hanson will make his first start of the year, replacing Saia Fainga'a in the starting line-up.
Prop Ben Daley also comes into the starting side for the first time, taking over from James Slipper at loosehead.
Both Fainga'a and Slipper suffered corks on the weekend and have been moved to the reserves.
Graham said the changes were a necessity because of the short turnaround and the team's impending trip to South Africa.
"It is a short turnaround and with only two training opportunities we needed to have 15 players fit to train on Monday and Tuesday," Graham said.
"Unfortunately we suffered a few knocks in last weekend's match and have had to make changes to allow us the best possible preparation."
Queensland Reds team to play Cheetahs at Suncorp Stadium this Friday night ...
- Ben Daley
- James Hanson
- Greg Holmes
- Rob Simmons
- James Horwill (capt)
- Eddie Quirk
- Liam Gill
- Jake Schatz
- Will Genia (v'capt)
- Quade Cooper
- Dom Shipperley
- Mike Harris
- Chris Feauai-Sautia
- Rod Davies
- Aidan Toua
- Saia Fainga'a
- James Slipper
- Jono Owen
- Ed O'Donoghue
- Beau Robinson
- Nick Frisby
- Anthony Fainga'a
- Ben Tapuai