Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 7.40pm (AEDT, 6.40pm local)
Last meeting: Round 18 2012 - Reds 32 bt Waratahs 16 at Suncorp Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 19 Reds 11 Waratahs 8 drawn 1
In Brisbane: Played 10 Reds 6 Waratahs 3 drawn 1
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)
TV: Live, FoxSports 2
TAB Sportsbet: Reds $1.80 Waratahs $1.95
Steve Samuelson writes: The Waratahs are the great unknown quantity as Israel Folau dons the sky blue jumper at his old Maroon stomping ground. The Reds will be better - and tougher - after the loss to the Brumbies and it may just be enough to win the derby.
AAP writes: The interstate grudge match should tell us plenty about exactly where both arch-rivals sit in 2013. The Reds are already under the pump following their disappointing 24-6 loss to the Brumbies while the Waratahs need to show they are again worthy of the hype.
Israel Folau. Photo: Getty Images
New coach Michael Cheika has brought a steely resolve as well as adventurous intentions. Whether the Waratahs play an expansive game or stick to the strength of their big pack is the $64 question. Queensland will attempt to run them off their feet if they can and hope to counter-attack at will. Many eyes will be on Israel Folau’s debut at fullback where he’ll be a major threat if the Reds allow him time and space.
REDS: Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley, Chris F’Sautia, Ben Tapuai, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas; Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ed Quirk, Ed O’Donoghue, Rob Simmons, James Slipper (capt), Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Reserves: James Hanson, Albert Anae, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Jarrad Butler, Nick Frisby, Jono Lance, Luke Morahan.
WARATAHS: Israel Folau, Drew Mitchell, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Carter, Tom Kingston, Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (capt), Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jeremy Tilse. Reserves: John Ulugia, Benn Robinson, Paddy Ryan, Mitchell Chapman, Lopeti Timani, Matt Lucas, Ben Volavola