Smith returns to face the Chiefs

Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 2:00 AM
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
The Queensland Reds have been bolstered ahead of their match with the Chiefs by the return of George Smith. It will be the first time the flanker has suited up for the Queenslanders in 2018.

George Smith will play his first Reds game of 2018 this weekend, named in the 23 to face the Chiefs.

Smith has been battling a back injury, making his comeback through club rugby last week, for Brothers, and will play off the bench on Saturday night.

His return is just the first in a host of changes for the Reds, with Taniela Tupou (shoulder) and Ben Lucas (concussion) returning to the starting side for the Suncorp Stadium match.

The Reds have suffered an injury blow in their pack, Lukhan Tui out with a knee injury, giving Angus Scott-Young a chance to start at six.

Reds coach Brad Thorn said the team was looking forward to its homecoming after six weeks on the road.

Lukhan Tui is the biggest squad surprise. Photo: Getty ImagesSaturday's will be a significant match for Queensland, the state's 1000th capped match and an ANZAC round fixture as well.

“Everyone is excited to be back at Suncorp Stadium. It’s been six weeks since we’ve had the opportunity to play at home, in front of our friends, family and fans. It’s great to be back," Thorn said.

“It’s a good occasion to return home to, with the opportunity to mark Queensland’s 1000th capped match, while also recognising ANZAC Round and paying tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.

“We’ve made a few changes to the team and it’s great to be able to bring Taniela (Tupou) and Ben (Lucas) back into the side.

"They missed out last week due to injury and they’ll be keen to get stuck in this weekend. They both offer plenty to the team.

“Unfortunately Lukhan suffered an injury last week, but we’ve got confidence in the depth of this squad. Angus (Scott-Young) gets another opportunity in the starting side and he’ll be keen to get involved in everything.

The Reds are yet to play a New Zealand side in 2018, and are looking to break a 0-34 trans-Tasman record, dating back to May 2016.

“It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks for us, we felt we haven’t played to our potential. Australian Super Rugby teams have hada terrible record against New Zealand teams in recent years, so there is a tough challenge in front of us but we’re excited by the opportunity.”

The Reds take on the Chiefs on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS. Buy tickets here.


IN: Taniela Tupou, Ben Lucas, Harry Hockings, George Smith, Moses Sorovi,

OUT:  Lukhan Tui, Sef Faagase, Adam Korczyk, James Tuttle, Tate McDermott, 

Reds to face the Chiefs

1. James Slipper (C) – Bond University

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank

3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers

4. Izack Rodda – Easts

5. Kane Douglas – Norths

6. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland

7. Liam Wright – Easts

8. Caleb Timu – Souths

9. Ben Lucas – Sunnybank

10. Jono Lance – University of Queensland

11. Izaia Perese – Easts

12. Samu Kerevi – Souths

13. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Souths

14. Filipo Daugunu – Wests

15. Aidan Toua – Easts


16. Alex Mafi – Bond University

17. JP Smith – GPS

18. Ruan Smith – GPS

19. Harry Hockings – University of Queensland

20. George Smith – Brothers

21. Moses Sorovi – University of Queensland

22. Hamish Stewart – Bond University

23. Jordan Petaia - Wests

Chiefs team to face the Reds

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (6)

2. Liam Polwart (13)

3. Angus Ta’avao (7)

4. Brodie Retallick (91)

5. Tyler Ardron (4)

6. Lachlan Boshier (26)

7. Sam Cane (102) co-captain

8. Pita Gus Sowakula (2)

9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (7)

10. Damian McKenzie (57)

11. Solomon Alaimalo (16)

12. Johnny Fa'auli (13) 

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (47)

14. Sean Wainui (7)

15. Charlie Ngatai (46) co-captain


16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (2)

17. Sam Prattley *

18. Jeff Thwaites (4)

19. Luke Jacobson (4)

20. Liam Messam (169)

21. Brad Weber (47)

22. Marty McKenzie (12)

23. Alex Nankivell (7)s

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