Simmons the blindside inclusion for Brumbies clash

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Rob Simmons will get a Suncorp Stadium farewell, with the veteran lock a surprise inclusion at blindside flanker for the clash with the Brumbies.

A neck complaint for Scott Higginbotham has allowed Nick Stiles to bring both Simmons and Kane Douglas into the starting 23, with Lukhan Tui also unavailable due to a knee clean up after the June Tests.

Simmons hasn't started at blindside flanker since a Wallabies Test against Italy in 2013 but coach Nick Stiles isn't concerned about his ability in the unfamiliar position.

"I was always going to include him in the 23 this weekend - it's really important to acknowledge the contribution he has made to this team over such a long period," Stiles said.

"Getting a chance to run on against the Brumbies but more importantly in front of his family and friends was important."Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas will both start for the Reds on Friday. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyDouglas will pack down with Izack Rodda in the second row, with Simmons joined by George Smith and Adam Korczyk in the backrow.

"The Brumbies build a lot of their game off their set piece so by having Simmo, Kane (Douglas) and Izack Rodda in the forward pack will give us some really tall timber to attack their lineout," Stiles said.

Simmons seemed as surprised as anyone about the positional shift when he spoke to reporters today but he is relishing the chance to represent his state at Suncorp Stadium one last time.

"It's exciting, it has brought a bit of new life, being able to play that final game at Suncorp," he said.

"I'm really excited that I get to reflect on my time here and the friendships I have made - that's the most exciting part, those friendships that I've made."Stephen Moore comes back into the starting XV. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyStephen Moore comes back into the starting XV alongside Sef Faagase and Taniela Tupou, with the Wallabies skipper to take the captaincy reigns once again in Samu Kerevi's absence.

Campbell Magnay will file the sizeable hole left by Kerevi, Stiles opting to leave Karmichael Hunt at fullback.

Izaia Perese also returns to the starting side on the right wing, fresh off a stellar Australian U20s campaign.

Markus Vanuati makes his return from a pesky calf injury on the bench but the news isn't as good for Nick Frisby, who has been left out of the 23 in favour of Moses Sorovi.

Caleb Timu has also been named on the bench for a potential Super Rugby debut.

The Reds face the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on radio at RUGBY.com.au.

TEAM

Reds team to face the Brumbies

1. Sef Fa'agase

2. Stephen Moore (C)

3. Taniela Tupou

4. Kane Douglas

5. Izack Rodda

6. Rob Simmons

7. George Smith

8. Adam Korczyk

9. James Tuttle

10. Quade Cooper

11. Eto Nabuli

12. Duncan Paia'aua

13. Campbell Magnay

14. Izaia Perese

15. Karmichael Hunt

Reserves

16. Alex Mafi

17. Markus Vanzati

18. Sam Talakai

19. Cadeyrn Neville

20. Caleb Timu

21. Moses Sorovi

22. Hamish Stewart

23. Chris Kuridrani

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