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Slipper to lead rolling Reds

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Centurion Slipper to lead rolling Reds

Queensland Reds front rower James Slipper is set to bring up his Super Rugby century and will lead his side at loosehead prop when they take on the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.

Brad Thorn has made three changes to his run on side that defeated the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend.

Hooker Alex Mafi has been named in the starting side for the first time this season, with Brandon Paenga-Amosa shifting to the bench and Andrew Ready dropping out of the side.

Scrumhalf Ben Lucas has also been given his first start of the season, with Tate McDermott returning to the matchday 23 as reserve scrumhalf and James Tuttle dropping out.

Duncan Paia’aua is back in the starting inside centre jersey. His return has prompted a shuffle in the backline, with Samu Kerevi moving to outside centre, Chris Feauai-Sautia to the wing and Eto Nabuli to the bench.

Regular Reds captain Scott Higginbotham will make his return from suspension via the reserves. His return sees youngster Liam Wright drop out of the 23 for the first time this year.

Reds coach Brad Thorn said: “This is a really special match for James Slipper. He has been at Ballymore for more than a decade and the opportunity to play 100 games for your home state is significant. The occasion isn’t lost on anyone. We want to put in a performance we can all be proud of.”

“The Stormers are a tough team and we’ve had a difficult week with the travel from Argentina, but the guys are clear what their job is this weekend.”

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck has made four changes to his starting side for their clash against the Reds on Saturday.

There are three changes to the forward pack. Cobus Wiese is back at blindside flanker, which means that Pieter-Steph du Toit shifts across to lock with Chris van Zyl moving to the bench.

In the front row Jacobus Janse van Rensburg will start at loosehead prop in a rotational switch with Steven Kitshoff. Tighthead prop Carlu Sadie and loose forwards Kobus van Dyk and Sikhumbuzo Notshe are also back in the matchday squad after being ruled out last week due to illness.

There is just one change to the starting backline that ran rampant against the Blues, with Craig Barry at fullback in place of Dillyn Leyds who has been ruled out with a calf injury. Justin Phillips and George Whitehead provide halfback cover on the replacements bench.

Fleck said that his team have their sights on making another step-up in their performance levels this weekend.

“It was great to get back to winning ways at Newlands last week, but we are certainly not taking anything for granted.

“We want to go out there and improve in a number of areas, to maintain the positive trajectory we are on,” he said.

STORMERS

15. Craig Barry, 14. JJ Engelbrecht, 13. EW Viljoen, 12. Damian De Allende, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Damian Willemse, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Cobus Wiese, 6. Siya Kolisi (C), 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Jan de Klerk, 3. Wilco Louw, 2. Ramone Samuels, 1. Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16. Dean Muir, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Carlu Sadie, 19. Chris van Zyl, 20. Kobus van Dyk, 21. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22. Justin Phillips, 23. George Whitehead.

REDS

15. Aiden Toua, 14. Filipo Daugunu, 13. Samu Kerevi, 12. Duncan Paia’aua, 11. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10. Jono Lance, 9. Ben Lucas, 8. Caleb Timu, 7. Adam Korczyk, 6. Angus Scott-Young, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Izack Rodda, 3. Taniela Tupou, 2. Alex Mafi, 1. James Slipper (C).
Replacements: 16. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17. Jean-Pierre Smith, 18. Sef Fa’agase, 19. Harry Hockings, 20. Scott Higginbotham, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Hamish Stewart, 23. Eto Nabuli.

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Centurion Slipper to lead rolling Reds