Reds leave out Smith and Simmons for Jaguares clash

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Nick Stiles has made the startling decision to leave George Smith out of his 23-man squad to face the Jaguares, one of seven changes to a new-look Reds team.

Stiles has attributed the move to the workload Smith has endured in the first four rounds but the decision to leave the 36-year-old completely out of the squad is an extremely bold one.

Smith has not been at his all-conquering best as he readjusts to the rigours of Super Rugby but he has acquitted himself as well as any other player in the Reds pack.

"We feel the 23 players we have picked for this weekend's game puts us there with a chance to win," Stiles said.George Smith won't play against the Jaguares. Photo: Getty Images"George has come off a Japanese season where he has played a lot of rugby and we knew when we signed George and Stephen Moore, that the for us to get the best out of them we just had to manage them.

"This was just one part of doing that."

Adam Korczyk was unlucky to be dropped in place of Hendrik Tui after a stellar pair of starts to open the season and he gets the chance to fill Smith's large shoes on Sunday morning.

Lineout chief Rob Simmons has also been left out of the 23 in favour of Izack Rodda, Kane Douglas and Lukhan Tui - another startling move by Stiles.

"You look at the depth we've got through the second row stocks - Izack Rodda has probably been our standout second rower through the first three rounds," he said.Adam Korczyk comes in for Smith. Photo: Walmsley"To have Kane Douglas who has played himself back into form as a combination with Izack is something that I think works very well.

"To have Lukhan Tui on the bench, you saw when he came on against the Lions that he played physical and the chance to continue to get more game time for someone like Lukhan is crucial for his development and his growth.

"But I think what he brings off the bench is going to put us in a position to win."

The two selection shocks are compounded by five further changes to the starting XV as well as the potential debuts of prop Kirwan Sanday and league convert Lachlan Maranta off the bench.As expected, James Tuttle will start at halfback. Photo: WalmsleyJames Tuttle gets his chance at halfback alongside Jake McIntyre, while Markus Vanzati comes in for the injured James Slipper.

Stephen Moore resumes his role as starting hooker and will captain the side in Slipper's absence.

Leroy Houston also gets his first taste of Super Rugby in six years in place of Hendrik Tui.

He will pack down alongside Korczyk and Scott Higginbotham in the back row.


Reds team to take on the Jaguares

1. Markus Vanzati

2. Stephen Moore (C)

3. Sam Talakai

4. Izack Rodda

5. Kane Douglas

6. Leroy Houston

7. Adam Korczyk

8. Scott Higginbotham

9. James Tuttle

10. Jake McIntyre

11. Eto Nabuli

12. Duncan Paia’aua

13. Samu Kerevi

14. Izaia Perese

15. Karmichael Hunt


16. Andrew Ready

17. Kirwan Sanday

18. Taniela Tupou

19. Lukhan Tui

20. Hendrik Tui

21. Nick Frisby

22. Lachlan Maranta

23. Chris Kuridrani

The Reds take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Sunday morning, kicking off at 8:40AM AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.