Smith to miss Reds farewell

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

George Smith has played his last professional game on Australian soil, his name missing from the Reds team which will face the Sunwolves.

Smith suffered a knee injury in Queensland's loss to the Blues a fortnight ago and was unable to overcome the knock for Friday's season finale, bringing an end to an illustrious Super Rugby career.

It's not a fitting farewell for the legendary flanker but coach Brad Thorn did say after the win over the Rebels he would "look after" the 37-year-old and with a season still to play for Bristol, he has delivered on that promise.

"It’s unfortunate that George doesn’t get an opportunity to play in the Reds’ jersey one final time, but we thought it was in his best interests to listen to his body and sit this one out," Thorn said.

"He has given plenty to us and to Australian rugby as a whole and we wish him all the best with the rest of his career."Smith has played his final game for Queensland. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelKane Douglas is in the same boat as Smith but isn't unavailable through injury, left out of the 23 altogether to accommodate the inclusion of Lukhan Tui in the second row.

In the backs Tate McDermott earns a well deserved crack at starting halfback, Moses Sorovi dropping back to the bench.

There is a fresh face on the pine as well - Junior Wallabies lock Angus Blyth named for a potential Super Rugby debut.

Adam Korczyk has also returned to the 23, with Teti Tela in line for a Super Rugby debut for the second straight week.

"We’ve made a couple of changes that probably reflect the depth in the squad and also point a bit to the future.

"Lukhan Tui returns to the starting side at lock beside Izack Rodda and Angus Blyth gets his first opportunity this week.


"He has been working away, waiting to get a taste at this level. He’s one to watch for the future.

"Kane Douglas has done a great job for us this season, but with him moving overseas, we felt we should give opportunities to younger players.

"With Tate McDermott and Moses Sorovi, they’re both exciting young players with plenty to offer.

"This is Tate’s first opportunity in the starting side and we know Moses will provide some spark off the bench."

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

TEAM

Reds team to face the Sunwolves

1. JP Smith – GPS

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank

3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers

4. Izack Rodda – Easts

5. Lukhan Tui – Souths

6. Caleb Timu – Souths

7. Liam Wright – Easts

8. Scott Higginbotham – Wests (C)

9. Tate McDermott – University of Queensland

10. Hamish Stewart – Bond University

11. Eto Nabuli – Souths

12. Duncan Paia’aua – Norths

13. Jordan Petaia – Wests

14. Filipo Daugunu – Wests

15. Jono Lance – University of Queensland

Reserves

16. Alex Mafi – Bond University

17. Harry Hoopert – Brothers

18. Ruan Smith – GPS

19. Angus Blyth – Bond University (potential Super Rugby debut)

20. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland

21. Adam Korczyk – University of Queensland

22. Moses Sorovi – University of Queensland

23. Teti Tela – Souths (potential Super Rugby debut)