Look who’s back for Reds’ 1000th match
WALLABIES great George Smith will make his comeback for the Queensland Reds on Saturday night but luckless Wallaby Lukhan Tui is headed to surgery.
The evergreen Smith made his return from back surgery last weekend with 40 minutes for his club Brothers and it was enough to show he is ready for Super Rugby.
That has been the only taste of rugby for Smith since disc replacement surgery early last December after a concerning non-contact injury told him his body needed repairing.
Smith will come off the bench against the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium where the Reds will play the 1000th match of their storied history since 1882.
The Reds have made three changes to the starting XV which was thumped 37-16 by the NSW Waratahs last weekend.
Prop Taniela Tupou returns from shoulder trouble at the perfect time against a Kiwi side running low on props.
Halfback Ben Lucas is returning from injury and flanker Angus Scott-Young has been promoted to the run-on team.
Lucas has recovered from a concussion suffered against the Brumbies two weeks ago to take the place of James Tuttle, who has dropped out of the 23.
Omitting Tuttle and Tate McDermott has created a chance on the bench for Moses Sorovi, an energetic sniper on the dash who may be able to capitalise on the pack earning ground.
A knee injury to Tui is desperately unlucky because he has played just two hours of rugby all season because his three-game suspension ripped so much momentum from his ambitions.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "Everyone is excited to be back at Suncorp Stadium.
"It's been six weeks since we've had the opportunity to play at home, in front of our friends, family and fans. It's great to be back.
"It's a good occasion to return home to, with the opportunity to mark Queensland's 1000th capped match, while also recognising ANZAC Round and paying tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.
"Unfortunately Lukhan suffered an injury last week, but we've got confidence in the depth of this squad.
"Angus (Scott-Young) gets another opportunity in the starting side and he'll be keen to get involved in everything.
"We're also welcoming George back into the side for the first time this year. It's great to see the old master return.
"He brings experience and composure as well as being a real threat at the breakdown."
QUEENSLAND REDS V CHIEFS
7:45pm AEST, Saturday Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. James Slipper (C) - Bond University, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa - Sunnybank, 3. Taniela Tupou - Brothers, 4. Izack Rodda - Easts, 5. Kane Douglas - Norths, 6. Angus Scott-Young - University of Queensland, 7. Liam Wright - Easts, 8. Caleb Timu - Souths, 9. Ben Lucas - Sunnybank, 10. Jono Lance - University of Queensland, 11. Izaia Perese - Easts, 12. Samu Kerevi - Souths, 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia - Souths, 14. Filipo Daugunu - Wests, 15. Aidan Toua - Easts Reserves: 16. Alex Mafi - Bond University, 17. JP Smith - GPS, 18. Ruan Smith - GPS, 19. Harry Hockings - University of Queensland, 20. George Smith - Brothers
21. Moses Sorovi - University of Queensland, 22. Hamish Stewart - Bond University, 23. Jordan Petaia - Wests