Super Rugby

SA-born JP Smith back for Reds

JP Smith (Gallo Images)
JP Smith (Gallo Images)

Brisbane - The Reds have made two changes to their starting XV for Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium (kick-off 10:45 SA time).

Harry Hockings will start at lock, as Lukhan Salakaia-Loto shifts to blindside flanker for the Reds’ first home match of 2019.

A reshuffle to the backrow sees Angus Scott-Young at No 8, with Caleb Timu on the bench.

Timu will form a formidable backrow interchange pairing with Scott Higginbotham, who is set to play his first Super Rugby game of 2019 after missing last week's trip to Dunedin with a shoulder injury.

Powerhouse South African-born front-rower JP Smith will also make his return from injury (knee) this weekend after being named alongside Higginbotham on the bench.

After causing plenty of headaches for the Highlanders defence, The Reds' backline remains the same from last week.

Head coach Brad Thorn told the Reds' official website: "It's good to have Higgers and JP back. They bring good experience and provide us with a strong bench.

"Harry has been working hard at training and deserves his spot in the starting side this week.

"Lukhan and Angus are both big mobile players who provide us with good versatility and options in the backrow.

"The Crusaders are an experienced team. We can’t wait to play in front of our home fans and see the stands filled with maroon."

Teams:

Reds

15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Moses Sorovi, 8 Angus Scott-Young, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika

Substitutes: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Caleb Timu, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Isaac Lucas

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Braydon Ennor, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 David Havili

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