January 29, 2022


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Thorn's selection luxury for Brisbane swansong

3 min read
Reds coach Brad Thorn has had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting side for...

Reds coach Brad Thorn has had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting side for Friday's clash with the Blues at Suncorp Stadium.

Keep checking in for all the latest Super Rugby trans-Tasman round four team news.

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CRUSADERS vs FORCE, Friday 5.05pm AEST in Christchurch



Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (NZ)

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REDS vs BLUES, Friday 7.45pm AEST in Brisbane

Reds coach Brad Thorn has had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting side for Friday's clash with the Blues at Suncorp Stadium.

With no fresh injuries, Thorn has rewarded the same XV that posted Australia's first trans-Tasman win of the season against the Chiefs last weekend.

There are, however, three changes to the bench with Angus Blyth, Sam Wallis and Moses Sorovi called in.

"We're at home for the final time this year in front our Queensland supporters," Thorn said.

"It was good to get the win in Townsville in a good battle with the Chiefs and we're expecting the same this week against the Blues."

Meanwhile, the ladder-leading Blues have named a powerful side which features the return of captain Patrick Tuipulotu to the starting lineup.

The All Blacks lock came off the bench in the last two weeks with flanker Tom Robinson filling in as skipper.

"We've graduated him back," Blues coach Leon MacDonald said.

"It was a significant injury, eight weeks with a sore neck, and we didn't want to rush him back too quickly."

MacDonald also has the luxury of bringing Test No.8 Hoskins Sotutu off the bench for what he is treating as a do-or-die clash if the Blues are to qualify for the June 19 final.

Akira Ioane will start at the back of the scrum instead.

"There's not much in it between the two," MacDonald said.

"Aki got the nod just because of his defensive physicality… But expect to see Hoskins early as well. We're fortunate with two pretty special players to be able to use them the way we are."

REDS (15-1): Bryce Hegarty, Suliasi Vunivalu, Hunter Paisami, Isaac Henry, Filipo Daugunu, James O'Connor (co-c), Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright (co-c), Angus Scott-Young, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Feao Fotuaika

Reserves: Josh Nasser, Dane Zander, Zane Nonggorr, Angus Blyth, Sam Wallis, Moses Sorovi, Hamish Stewart, Ilaisa Droasese

BLUES (15-1): Zarn Sullivan, Bryce Heem, Rieko Ioane, TJ Faiane, Mark Telea, Otere Black, Finlay Christie, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson, Patrick Tuipulotu (c), Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Ofa Tuungafasi, Kurt Eklund, Karl Tu'inukuafe

Reserves: Soane Vikena, Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Jacob Pierce, Hoskins Sotutu, Jonathan Ruru, Harry Plummer, AJ Lam

Referee: Mike Fraser (NZ)

HIGHLANDERS vs WARATAHS, Saturday 5.05pm AEST in Dunedin



Referee: Damon Murphy (AUS)

BRUMBIES vs HURRICANES, Saturday 7.45pm AEST in Canberra



Referee: Paul Williams (NZ)

Chiefs star sees red for high shot

CHIEFS vs REBELS, Sunday 1.35pm AEST in Hamilton



Referee: Graham Cooper (AUS)

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