Can Slipper be the difference in Reds resurgence?

Super Rugby
by staff

James Slipper will lead out the Reds for the first time this season, against the Highlanders in Brisbane.

Slipper, who has been recovering from knee and shoulder surgery, has been named for his first run-on start of the season for the game.

Powerful winger Chris Feauai-Sautia is the only other change to the starting XV, returning from illness to start on the right wing.

Interim co-coach Matt O'Connor said the side would be boosted by Slipper's experience, against the reigning champions.

"It’s good to be able to welcome James (Slipper) back to the starting side," he said.

"He’s worked hard to get himself back on the field and was very pleased to get some minutes against the Waratahs.

"You want your most experienced players on the field and James will offer plenty of leadership on Saturday."

 O'Connor said the side;s bye week had given them a chance to refresh and reset ahead of the difficulty that they face on Saturday.

“The team returned from the bye with a lot of enthusiasm for the challenge that awaits us on Saturday," he said.

"The Highlanders are a dangerous team and we know we cannot afford to give them opportunities.

"We have grown in our performances each week and know it will take nothing short of our best to knock off the defending champions. We look forward to the challenge.”

The Reds host the HIghlanders at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST.

1. James Slipper (C)

2. Andrew Ready

3. Greg Holmes

4. Cadeyrn Neville

5. Rob Simmons

6. Hendrik Tui

7. Liam Gill

8. Jake Schatz

9. Nick Frisby

10. Jake McIntyre

11. Eto Nabuli

12. Anthony Fainga'a

13. Samu Kerevi

14. Chris Feauai-Sautia

15. Karmichael Hunt


16. Saia Fainga'a

17. Sef Fa'agase

18. Sam Talakai

19. Ben Matwijow

20. Curtis Browning

21. Scott Gale

22. Sam Greene

23. Ayumu Goromaru