The Reds are unbeaten since James Horwill returned from injury. Image courtesy of news.com.au
The Queensland Reds can seal a clean sweep of their Kiwi opponents for the first time in Super Rugby with a win over the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night. Having already beaten the Hurricanes and Highlanders this campaign, Ewen McKenzie’s side beat the 2012 title winning Chiefs 31-23 across the ditch a fortnight ago to remind the rest of the competition that they are still a force.
Reds boss Ewen McKenzie has kept the same 22 man squad that scored a 19 all draw with the Brumbies last weekend, although there are two changes to the starting side. Hooker Saia Faingaa and prop Ben Daley have both been elevated to the run on side with James Hanson and Greg Holmes dropping back to the bench. Despite being embroiled in off-field dramas, Wallaby winger Digby Ioane retains his place on the wing.
While there has been plenty of talk about Digby Ioane’s future in Brisbane, the Blues have had their own off-field dramas to deal with, standing winger George Moala down for a week for breaking team protocol. Albert Nikoro comes onto the flank in his absence while former All Black forward Anthony Boric will miss out after aggravating an old neck injury.
Queensland has had the wood over the Blues in recent times, winning the past three meetings between the sides and seven of the ten clashes between the pair in Brisbane. The Reds have lost just one of their past eight matches to sit second in the Australian conference, while the Blues lead the New Zealand conference with four wins, although they have won just two of their past five matches.
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