Nick Frisby to be thrown into flyhalf role

THE Reds' season from hell just got even worse, with makeshift five-eighth James O'Connor sidelined with a calf injury ahead of Sunday morning's (AEST) clash against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

This latest setback comes after Quade Cooper fractured his scapula against the Rebels last Friday night, which will put the Wallabies flyhalf out for the next eight weeks.

O'Connor was one of the Reds' major off-season signings but, like Cooper, has had an injury-marred season.

Queensland coach Richard Graham is now likely to turn to second-choice halfback Nick Frisby as a solution to the troubled five-eighth role.

Frisby (pictured) slotted in there earlier in the season against the Force, and in the second half against the Rebels.

O'Connor's injury will force Graham into a backline reshuffle, with Lachie Turner expected to move to the wing, and Karmichael Hunt tipped to return to the starting side at fullback.

O'Connor is expected to be available for selection for the second match of the Reds' two-game tour, against the Cheetahs next weekend.

In a small piece of good news for the Reds, with their injury-hit 1-6 season now all but over, Wallaby lock Rob Simmons has overcome a shoulder nerve injury and will make his long-awaited return against the Bulls.

The Australian Conference-leading Brumbies have no such worries ahead of their clash against the winless Blues tonight.

The ACT players came through unscathed from their 20-3 win over the Cheetahs last weekend.