Reds ready to go all out

2011-04-09 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The Reds have signalled their intent to fight fire with fire through the selection of a powerful forward pack for today’s Super Rugby match against the Stormers at Newlands.

Coach Ewen McKenzie has also noted the adverse publicity his team has received, with former Reds and Wallaby mentor Eddie Jones writing off their chances in an interview with a local newspaper and the Stormers accusing them of cheating.

“We’ve had the double-whammy,” McKenzie said this week.

“It’s all over billboards here. But we’re not motivated by that [proving them wrong]. We’re really motivated by the opportunity.”

The Stormers were still undecided on whether Jean de Villiers will play after he suffered a groin injury on Wednesday.

Backline coach Robbie Fleck said that De Villiers had already felt a lot better on Thursday, but it remains a possibility that Juan de Jongh will start and Johann Sadie will be among the substitutes.

Meanwhile, the Reds have made a number of changes to the side that beat the Lions at the weekend.

It is interesting that 22-year-old James Hanson has been picked ahead of Wallaby hooker Saia Faingaa and that veteran Radike Samo will start as blindside flank.

“Bringing in James and Radike is a representation of the style of game we are aiming to play against the Stormers, with both more than capable of stepping up against one of the best forward packs in the competition,” McKenzie said.

“James has excelled in every challenge put before him this season and we believe his style is best suited to commence the game.

“Our bench has been a major strength for us all season and having the capability of injecting a Wallaby in Saia Faingaa and key players later in the game should pay dividends.”

In other changes up front, Rob Simmons replaces Adam Wallace-Harrison at lock and Ben Daley is in for Greg Holmes at loosehead prop.

The Reds have made a number of changes in their backline. Luke Morahan moves from leftwing to fullback in place of Mike Harris, with the latter set to start at inside-centre.

Digby Ioane shifts from inside-centre to the leftwing and Anthony Faingaa will wear the No. 13 jersey.

“One of our main backline strengths is the versatility of many players to play in multiple positions and we believe we have found the right balance for this week,” said McKenzie.

Samo has experience of playing lock, is a strong ball-carrier and can also add value in the lineouts. The Reds are an excellent lineout team with a success ratio of 91% in that area.

“We keep working hard at the lineouts because it’s an area where teams do their homework. It’s going to be a good match-up and Andries [Bekker] is one of the best in that department,” said Reds captain James Horwill.


Reds: 15.Luke Morahan, 14.Rod Davies, 13.Anthony Faingaa, 12.Mike Harris, 11.Digby Ioane, 10.Quade Cooper, 9.Will Genia, 8.Scott Higginbotham, 7.Beau Robinson, 6.Radike Samo, 5.James Horwill (capt), 4.Rob Simmons, 3.James Slipper, 2.James Hanson, 1.Ben Daley

Substitutes: 16.Saia Faingaa, 17.Guy Shepherdson, 18.Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19.Leroy Houston, 20.Liam Gill, 21.Ian Prior, 22.Will Chambers

Stormers: 15.Gio Aplon, 14.Danie Poolman, 13.Jaque Fourie, 12.Jean de Villiers, 11.Bryan Habana, 10.Peter Grant, 9.Dewaldt Duvenage, 8.Duane Vermeulen, 7.Francois Louw, 6.Schalk Burger (captain), 5.Andries Bekker, 4.Rynhardt Elstadt, 3.Brok Harris, 2.Deon Fourie, 1.Wicus Blaauw

Substitutes: 16.Ethienne Reynecke, 17.CJ van der Linde, 18.De Kock Steenkamp, 19.Nick Koster, 20.Ricky Januarie, 21.Gary van Aswegen, 22.Juan de Jongh.

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