Reds and Cheetahs seek opening win
February 26, 2009
Cheetahs skipper Juan Smith has been cleared fit to start against the Reds © Getty Images
The Reds have called lock Hugh McMeniman and scrum-half Ben Lucas in to their side to face the Cheetahs in the Super 14 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Wallaby McMeniman missed the opening rounds of the tournament due to a family illness but has now made himself available. Lucas has been rewarded for a fine showing off the bench against the Stormers. Digby Ioane continues at outside-centre while those nursing injury problems, Berrick Barnes, hooker Sean Hardman and wing Peter Hynes are all expected to play.
"We won't be under-estimating the Cheetahs on Sunday, they're a side with a lot of ability that hasn't had much luck in starting the season - which is something we have in common," said Reds coach Phil Mooney. "But if our players focus on doing the little things well for the whole game we have the speed and the talent to play a very entertaining and effective style of rugby."
The Cheetahs have struggled so far this season, losing to the Lions and last week the Western Force, but are boosted this week by the return of Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe and centre Corne Uys. Skipper Juan Smith and ellow flanker Heinrich Brussow both passed fitness tests and will take their places in the back-row.
Reds: Mark McLinden, Brando Va'aulu, Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes (captain), Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas; Leroy Houston, Daniel Braid, Scott Higginbotham, Hugh McMeniman, Van Humphries, Laurie Weeks, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes.
Replacements: Saia Faingaa, Dayna Edwards, Adam Byrnes, Tasi Luafutu, Will Genia, Anthony Faingaa, Blair Connor.
Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller, Fabian Juries, Corne Uys, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Jongi Nokwe, Meyer Bosman, Tewis de Bruyn, Frans Viljoen, Juan Smith (capt), Heinrich Brussow, David de Villiers, Nico Breedt, Bees Roux, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Kobus Calldo, Wayne van Heerden, Hendro Scholtz, Sarel Pretorius, Piet van Zyl, Hanno Coetzee/Danwel Demas.
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