Ioane heads list of five injured Reds
March 26, 2013
Digby Ioane is expected to retrurn after the Reds' bye © Getty Images
Strike weapon Digby Ioane is one of five Queensland Reds players ruled out Friday's Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders because of injuries suffered in the weekend win over the Bulls.
The Reds will field a new wing pairing of Luke Morahan and Dom Shipperley in Dunedin in the absence of Ioane (knee) and Chris Feauai-Sautia (thigh strain) who are both expected to be fit after next week's bye.
Off-setting those losses is the return of gun openside flanker Liam Gill, who missed the home clash with the Bulls with a minor knee injury.
The other change to the Reds' starting line-up sees Rob Simmons reunited with Wallabies captain James Horwill in the second row, the first time the duo will start a match together since May 26 last year.
There are four new faces on the bench with Ben Daley, scrum-half Ben Lucas and backs Aidan Toua and Rod Davies coming into the squad.
Coach Ewen McKenzie will this week become the most capped coach in Super Rugby history as he breaks the record he shares with Wallabies and former Crusaders mentor Robbie Deans with 120 games (66 with the Waratahs from 2003-08, 54 with the Reds from 2010).
However, it will be another record McKenzie has his sights set upon on Friday, with the Reds chasing their first-ever victory in Dunedin in the professional era.
While the Reds have a strong record against the Highlanders in Queensland, winning seven of the nine games played, they are yet to topple the Highlanders on New Zealand soil.
Queensland Reds: Jono Lance, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Luke Morahan, Quade Cooper,Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, James Hanson, Greg Holmes. Res: Albert Anae, Ben Daley, Ed O'Donoghue, Jarrad Butler, Ben Lucas, Aidan Toua, Rod Davies.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9