Update: Marcia Hynes has been named at fullback while Mungo McLinden has be dropped to the Magoo’s while they try to re-educate him. Madness McMeniman has been rested after a only playing 40 mins the week before, I think this probably has more to do with the fact Mooney is not sure if Byrnes or Simmons is the better option as back-up 2nd row rather than Hugh being overly fatigued. Team at bottom of post.
Both Berrick Barnes and Morgan Turinui have been named as starters for Thursday’s trial match against the Western Force at Ballymore. Medical staff have cleared Barnes of a Wallaby tour-ending knee injury and the Reds’ captain elect is keen to get on with it.
“You can run all you like but getting that footy fitness is a whole different ballgame so I’m just looking to get a few (kilometres) under my belt on the field” Barnes said in a cliché filled return to the big time.
Barnes will wear the no. 12 jersey after it was confirmed by Reds’ coach Phil Mooney that off-season revelation Quade Cooper, will start at fly-half. Cooper was one of the Reds’ best against Auckland and it’s great from a Queensland perspective that along with his duty free hair-care products, Cooper has also brought home the form he displayed on the Wallabies European odyssey.
Turinui had been in some doubt with a shoulder injury – probably sustained while wrestling with a hard to open pie wrapper – however Mooney is also confident last year’s big improver will be able to take the field to complete what should be a full strength Reds team.
“The medical opinion is that he will be right,” Mooney said. “We’ll get him to do a little bit of contact before the game and he should be there.”
The full team will be announced tomorrow morning (Qld time) with the main points of interest being whether Mark McLinden has done enough in his previous two matches to get the fullback gig and whether Laurie Weeks or Ben Daley will fill the reserve prop position.
The game kicks-off at 7.00pm and you if live in Brizzie or surrounds and are thinking of going, make sure you pre-buy your tickets from Ticketmaster.
Generally the QRU do not roster enough staff on the ticket booths and you miss the first quarter of the game trying to get in. For the early birds there will be an added bonus with a Reds’ 2nd XV taking on a Western Force 2nd XV from 5.30pm.
The team is (from fullback): Peter Hynes, Brando Va’aulu, Morgan Turinui, Berrick Barnes (c), Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Leroy Houston, Daniel Braid, Scott Higginbotham, Adam Byrnes, Van Humphries, Dayna Edwards, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes.
Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Laurie Weeks, Robert Simmons, Poutasi Luafutu, Will Genia, Anthony Faingaa, Blair Connor.