Reds name 'form' team for Brumbies
February 15, 2013
Aidan Toua has been rewarded for his pre-season form. © Getty Images
Aidan Toua will start in the centres for Queensland after Reds head coach Ewen McKenzie named a side "specifically" to play the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
McKenzie named only his squad on Thursday, to preserve an "air of mystery", as he continued the pre-match mind games with Brumbies counterpart Jake White. When he finally named his starting line-up, he picked a side including inexperienced players Toua and blindside flanker Eddie Quirk to keep the Brumbies on their toes.
Toua has played just three Super Rugby games while Quirk made 12 appearances in 2012, and McKenzie said they had been rewarded for their pre-season form.
"There are a lot of factors that dictate selection, including experience, but we also try to acknowledge current form," Ewen McKenzie said.
"Guys such as Aidan Toua and Eddie Quirk haven't played a lot of Super Rugby but have put their hand up during the preseason. We've got some very strong ideas on how we want to play the Brumbies and the entire group has understood since Monday the role they play in that. We've had a great preparation."
The Reds have won three of the past four fixtures against the Brumbies, and McKenzie has otherwise named a strong team to continue the run as he seeks to derail the Canberra side's entire campaign in round one.
Toua partners vice-captain Ben Tapuai in midfield, while Dom Shipperley was named alongside Digby Ioane and Mike Harris in the back three.
Welcome to ESPNscrum's improved Australian and NZ edition%]
Prop James Slipper will captain the Reds as part of a starting front row that includes Greg Holmes at loose-head prop and Saia Faingaa at hooker.
In the absence of injured skipper James Horwill, locks Rob Simmons and Adam Wallace-Harrison will commence the game in the second-row.
The Reds will boast a young back row with Wallabies flanker Liam Gill at No. 7, Quirk at blindside flanker and Jake Schatz at No.8.
Queensland: Mike Harris; Dom Shipperley, Aidan Toua, Ben Tapuai (vice-captain), Digby Ioane; Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas; Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk; Rob Simmons, Adam Wallace-Harrison; James Slipper (captain), Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Replacements: Albert Anae, James Hanson, Ed O'Donoghue, Jarrad Butler, Nick Frisby, Jono Lance, Chris F'Sautia
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Andrew Smith, Christian Lealiifano, Clyde Rathbone; Matt Toomua, Nic White; Ben Mowen (captain), David Pocock, Peter Kimlin; Sam Carter, Scott Fardy; Dan Palmer, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Replacements: Siliva Siliva, Ruaidhri Murphy, Colby Faingaa, Fotu Auelua, Ian Prior, Joseph Tomane, Robbie Coleman.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter