Reds recall James Horwill and Will Genia
July 18, 2013
Will Genia is back alongside Quade Cooper in the halves © Getty Images
Horwill and Genia missed the Reds' match against New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby round 20, due to injury, but director of coaching Ewen Mckenzie said ""their influence can't be understated … you need world-class players and strong leaders if you are going to win these games on the big stage".
McKenzie is confident his side can win and stay alive in the race for the title even though key backs Rod Davies and Mike Harris are absent with respective knee and hamstring injuries.
"There is always going to be some damage at this time of the year and, while it's disappointing to be without a few guys, we are getting the experience of James and Will back," McKenzie said. "We have had to reshuffle our backline in some positions and the players coming in now have an opportunity to contribute in a positive way. They've all had plenty of experience this year in the roles we are asking of them and we've got every confidence in our entire 22-man squad to get the job done."
The Reds have not beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch since 1999, but McKenzie's side have been victorious in three of the past four encounters between the two teams - including the 2011 Super Rugby final - and the coach says his team are primed to win again on Saturday.
"We take pride in the hoodoos we've broken over the years and this is just another milestone we can target," McKenzie said. "History tells us they have a strong record at home where they seemingly always find a way to prevail, but we pushed them in Christchurch in our last match and many teams have continued to do so and come close since. It's a challenge we look forward to and the Crusaders are always a match we enjoy playing.
"They are a team we are quite familiar with and you always want to be challenging yourself against the best sides. Traditionally, this Reds group has also stepped up and performed well in the big games, and that gives us confidence in tackling the opportunity we have in front of us on Saturday night."
Reds: Ben Lucas; Dom Shipperley, Ben Tapuai, Jono Lance, Chris Feauai-Sautia; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ed Quirk; James Horwill, Rob Simmons; James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Replacements: Albert Anae, Jono Owen, Ed O'Donoghue, Radike Samo, Beau Robinson, Nick Frisby, Luke Morahan.
Follow live text commentary of the Super Rugby qualifier between the Crusaders and the Reds on Saturday, July 20, from 7pm (NZT), 5pm (EST), 7am (GMT)
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