The St.George Queensland Reds have made two changes to their starting XV for Friday’s match against the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
JP Smith will start in the frontrow while Angus Blyth will make his first Super Rugby start at lock.
There are a further four changes to the reserves, as Smith and Blyth’s promotion sees Harry Hoopert and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto on the bench.
Caleb Timu is back in the Reds’ 23 after serving a club Rugby suspension, while Isaac Lucas returns following a title-winning campaign with the Junior Wallabies at the Oceania U20s Championship.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The Rebels are a tough opposition. They’ve only lost one game at home this year and will be looking for a good performance in front of their fans.
“As part of our squad rotation, Harry Hoopert and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will come off the bench as finishers this week. It sees JP Smith start at loosehead prop and Angus Blyth in the starting side for the first time.
“A big well done to Angus. This’ll be his fourth game for Queensland. He’s come through the Queensland U20s and the NRC for Queensland Country. He’s worked hard for this opportunity and we’re proud of him.
“It’s good to have Caleb and Isaac available for selection. Isaac returns after winning the U20s Championship alongside four other Reds squad members Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Josh Nasser and Michael Wood. It’s the highest honour to represent your country and as a group we congratulate them,” said Thorn.
Queensland play the Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday night at 7:45pm AEST and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
The Reds return home next round as they host the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday May 18. Tickets available via http://bit.ly/2019RedsTickets
St.George Queensland Reds v Rebels – AAMI Park, Melbourne on May 10 at 7:45pm AEST
1. JP Smith – GPS
2. Alex Mafi – Bond University
3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
4. Izack Rodda – Easts
5. Angus Blyth – Bond University*
6. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
7. Liam Wright – Easts
8. Scott Higginbotham – Wests
9. Tate McDermott – University of Queensland
10. Bryce Hegarty – GPS
11. Sefa Naivalu – Norths
12. Samu Kerevi (c) – Souths
13. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Souths
14. Jock Campbell – University of Queensland
15. Hamish Stewart – Bond University
16. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank
17. Harry Hoopert – Brothers
18. Ruan Smith – GPS
19. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Souths
20. Caleb Timu – Souths
21. Moses Sorovi – Wests
22. Duncan Paia’aua – Norths
23. Isaac Lucas – Sunnybank
*Denotes starting debut