Reds set to welcome back trio
June 26, 2011
The Reds have suffered a raft of injuries of late, but will welcome back star winger Ioane for Saturday's clash. © Getty Images
The Reds will welcome back three key players for Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final against the Blues.
Winger Digby Ioane, centre Anthony Faingaa and flanker Beau Robinson all look set to be included in Ewen McKenzie's 22 for Saturday's clash. Ioane returns after missing two matches with concussion while Faingaa sat out the past two games with a hamstring tear. Robinson was sidelined for the last three matches with an elbow injury.
Wallaby Ioane's return is sure to boost the Reds in particular, following his man-of-the-match display against the Blues in their 37-31 win in May, and coach McKenzie was quick to highlight the returning players' importance to the side. "Apart from the nine and ten, Digby touches the ball more than anyone else and runs more metres and breaks more tackles, so he's pretty important," McKenzie told the AAP.
"Anthony Faingaa probably leads our defensive efforts every week, so there's another guy that's been pretty important to us. We've done well without them but, in attack and defence, they are pretty influential players for us and Beau Robinson the same. In attack and defence, he's been one of the leading proponents. They are three very important players in getting us to where we are."
Robinson's return to the side comes after he played half a game for his club side Souths against GPS and the flanker was in typically bullish form at the breakdown. Robinson wore a special elbow guard for the game, following the dislocation against the Crusaders on May 29, and he will put his trust in the club doctors as to whether he will wear it against the Blues on Saturday.
"The brace looks worse than it actually is and it will be fine if the doctor decides I have to wear it again next week," Robinson told The Courier Mail. "It's just awesome to get back to playing a week earlier than I expected. I've been busting a gut to play again and get back into the Reds.
"Physically, I felt fine out there. It was more about being mentally ready for a game of rugby. Apart from losing a couple of kilos, the time off has really freshened me up. I'm ready to rip in."
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