AAP

Injury-plagued former Wallabies winger Rod Davies will start his first Super Rugby match in 12 months as the Queensland Reds aim to match the pacesetting Chiefs' speed in Hamilton on Saturday.

The fastest player in the Reds squad, Davies has finally overcome hamstring, knee and shoulder problems to line up on the left flank against the man who terrorised him in his 2009 debut - Lelia Masaga.

Injuries to Digby Ioane and Luke Morahan have opened the door to "Rocket Rod" in virtually the same backline which started the 2011 final triumph over the Crusaders.

Back then Davies was flying high as one of the best finishers in the game following a three-try semi-final outing against the Blues which paved the way for Test selection against Samoa.

But, like scapegoat Matt Giteau, it proved to be his last game in a Wallabies jersey as he was monstered by Manu Tuilagi.

Davies admitted he was nervous heading into his first start since last year's April 20 loss to the Stormers, but was relishing the chance to throw himself at the defending champions.

"It's a big game to be back," he said. "I'll be going hard and putting my best foot forward and trying to the spark back that I had.

"Masaga's a powerhouse and he's having one of his better years.

"His tackle breaks are unbelievable.

"I really have to go in hard against him."

Davies had shown glimpses of returning to his 2011 form in the pre-season trails, linking well with Quade Cooper, before tweaking his hamstring for Queensland A.

Reds mentor Ewen McKenzie is excited by the 24-year-old's return against a Chiefs backline steered by Aaron Cruden and boasting blazing finishers Tim Nanai-Williams and Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

"He's got raw pace and you can't beat speed," McKenzie said.

"They've got plenty of speed so we have to match that."

McKenzie made only one more change to the 22-man squad which prevailed 34-33 over the Highlanders a fortnight ago, recalling fit-again three-quarter Chris Feauai-Sautia to the bench.

Hooker Saia Faingaa (neck), No.8 Radike Samo (knee), halfback Nick Frisby (ankle), Ioane (knee) and Morahan (ribs) are all expected to be fit for next week's pivotal Australian conference clash with the Brumbies.

Queensland Reds: Jono Lance, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Dom Shipperley, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, James Hanson, Greg Holmes. Res: Albert Anae, Ben Daley, Ed O'Donaghue, Jarrad Butler, Ben Lucas, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Aidan Toua.