Reds overhaul front row for Force clash
May 1, 2013
James Slipper's heavy workload has seen him relegated to the Queensland Reds bench © Getty Images
Queensland have overhauled their front row, while Reds cult hero Beau Robinson has been recalled to make his long-awaited Super Rugby return in Saturday night's clash with the Western Force in Perth.
Rising front-rower Albert Anae will make his run-on debut as Wallabies prop James Slipper has surprisingly been rotated to the bench in one of three changes to the starting team which overcame the Blues 12-11 last weekend.
Anae will start at loose-head prop and veteran Greg Holmes will pack down at tight-head in a complete switch of the starting props.
Winger Dom Shipperley replaces the injured Rod Davies.
The in-form Slipper's heavy workload, starting all 10 previous games and finishing all but three, has forced him onto the bench, while front-row partner Ben Daley is sidelined with a hamstring strain.
"Managing player workloads are something you must be conscious of if you are going to be successful over the duration of the competition," Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said. "We're always cognisant of this in the decisions we make each day and feel James Slipper will this week benefit from being used as an impact player from the bench. One area we pride ourselves on is our depth and Albert has made a strong impact with every opportunity he has received this year from the bench."
A hero of Queensland's 2011 title-winning campaign, Robinson has not played for the Reds since coming off the bench in last year's play-off loss to the Sharks. The openside flanker has carried his ankle injury for 12 months, and his bad luck continued this pre-season when he tripped over two pet dogs at his family's western New South Wales property.
Robinson will line up beside fellow back-rower Jarrad Butler in a forward-heavy 5-2 bench split as Queensland plan to counter the dynamic Force loose-forward division of Matt Hodgson, Richard Brown, Chris Alcock and Ben McCalman.
Queensland Reds: Jono Lance, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, Saia Faingaa, Albert Anae. Replacements: James Hanson, James Slipper, Ed O'Donoghue, Beau Robinson, Ben Lucas, Chris Feauai-Sautia.