Wallaby-laden Reds set to face champion Chiefs
A Wallaby-laden Queensland Reds line-up has been named to face the Super Rugby champion Chiefs in a pre-season trial in Toowoomba on Saturday night.
Reds coach Richard Graham has included eight current Wallabies in his starting side while utility back Chris Feauai-Sautia is expected to play the second half off the bench.
Forwards Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, James Horwill and Liam Gill will be back in action for the first time since the Wallabies end of season tour to the UK, Ireland and Italy.
Halfback Will Genia and first five-eighth Quade Cooper resume their combination while New Zealand-born Mike Harris starts in the highly contestable second five-eighth berth.
The Reds first hit out, which starts at 9.30pm NZT, also features five newcomers on the reserves bench including former Waratahs and Wallabies wing Lachie Turner.
Dave McDuling, Chris Kuridrani, Samuela Kerevi and Jonah Placid also play their first game for the Reds.
After four months of pre-season training Graham said the team was looking forward to finally taking the field.
"It's good to finally arrive at this point," Graham said.
"We've had a long pre-season and worked on a lot of different aspects of our game. This weekend's game provides an opportunity to work on all the technical and tactical aspects we've touched on in pre-season.
"We're playing the reigning, two-time Super Rugby champions. It will allow us to continue developing combinations and test our players in match conditions."
Graham said he was impressed with the way the squad had come together throughout the pre-season.
"It's a credit to the work ethic of the entire squad. We have a group that wants to be around each other, want to improve and enjoys the competitive training environment," he said.
The pre-season match will feature 20-minute quarters, with both sides fielding 28-man squads with unlimited interchanges.
Queensland Reds: Aiden Toua, Dom Shipperley, Ben Tapuai, Mike Harris, Lachie Turner, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Fainga'a, Ben Daley. Reserves: Greg Holmes, Albert Anae, Jono Owen, Ed O'Donoghue, Blake Enever, Dave McDuling, Curtis Browning, Nick Frisby, Chris Kuridrani, Samuela Kerevi, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Rod Davies, Jonah Placid.