Jock Campbell will make his return from a hand injury this weekend as the Queensland Reds face the Hurricanes in Melbourne for Super Rugby Pacific’s inaugural Super Round.
Campbell’s inclusion is one of four changes to the starting XV which defeated the Melbourne Rebels last round, with Campbell running on in the number-15 jersey in place of Jordan Petaia who has been ruled out with a minor hamstring injury.
Flyhalf James O’Connor has also been sidelined with a knee injury, seeing Queensland Premier Rugby product Lawson Creighton make his Super Rugby starting debut alongside captain Tate McDermott in the halves.
Frontrowers Harry Hoopert and Taniela Tupou move back to the starting side from the bench as Queensland look to snap a six-game losing streak against the Hurricanes.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “What a great occasion with all 12 teams in Melbourne for Super Round.
“Trans-Tasman was a tough ride last year against the New Zealanders. The challenge will be in front of us again this year. It starts with the Hurricanes and we’re looking forward to a tough match.
“It’s good to have Jock Campbell back this week. He’ll start at fullback with Jordy out with a slight hamstring strain.
“James O’Connor is also out with a knee injury he picked-up against the Rebels. It’s a good opportunity for Lawson Creighton who will make his first Super Rugby start for Queensland,” said Thorn.
Richie Asiata will make his second consecutive start at hooker alongside Tupou and Hoopert up front, with Ryan Smith and Angus Blyth resuming their flourishing combination in the secondrow.
Connor Vest earns his second start at blindside flanker and will team up with star duo Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson in the backrow.
Hamish Stewart and Hunter Paisami run on in a settled centre pairing, while Fijian flyers Filipo Daugunu and Suliasi Vunivalu provide strike out wide with Campbell at the back.
Off the bench, Dane Zander will make his return from suspension, Angus Scott-Young will continue his injury comeback and Lopeti Faifua is set to play his second game in the maroon jersey after debuting last round.
The match will be Saturday night’s second Super Round clash, with the fixture set to kick-off at 7:45pm broadcast live on Stan Sport and Nine Gem.
Hurricanes v Queensland Reds, AAMI Park, Melbourne, kick-off 7:45pm:
Harry Hoopert – Brothers Richie Asiata – Easts Taniela Tupou – Brothers Ryan Smith – Brothers Angus Blyth – Bond University Connor Vest – University of Queensland Fraser McReight – Brothers Harry Wilson – Brothers Tate McDermott – University of Queensland Lawson Creighton* – Brothers Filipo Daugunu – Wests Hamish Stewart – Brothers Hunter Paisami – Wests Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests Jock Campbell – University of Queensland Matt Faessler – Brothers Dane Zander – Norths Feao Fotuaika – Sunnybank Lopeti Faifua – Wests Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland Josh Flook – Brothers Mac Grealy – University of Queensland
*denotes Queensland and Super Rugby starting debut