Reds v Highlanders
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Friday 7.40pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Round 14 2010 - Reds 38 bt Highlanders 36 at Suncorp Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 15 Reds 6 Highlanders 9
In Brisbane: Played 7 Reds 5 Highlanders 2
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (RSA)
TV: Live, FoxSports 2
TAB Sportsbet: Reds $1.28 Highlanders $3.50
Greg Growden writes: A tricky game for the Reds, and they will be relying on home ground advantage to stay abreast of the Highlanders, who while erratic know how to occasionally get it together to beat the best. A Reds season definer.
AAP writes: The Reds showed glimpses of the attack that fired them towards last year’s title in their 32-17 win over the Rebels but this will be a much tougher test. The Highlanders are all but out of finals contention following their tight loss to the Chiefs. But they’re desperate to end their season with a bang as they have a final-round bye. All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore is back starting while Mike Delaney takes over at No.10 and form centre Tamati Ellison is sidelined. Queensland have suffered a double blow with flanker Liam Gill (hamstring) and winger Digby Ioane (pneumonia) ruled out but are hard to beat at home.
REDS: Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Chris F'Sautia, Quade Cooper, Will Genia (capt); Scott Higginbotham, Beau Robinson, Jake Schatz, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Reserves: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Radike Samo, Jarrad Butler, Ben Lucas, Ben Tapuai, Nick Frisby.
HIGHLANDERS: Ben Smith, Kade Poki, Siale Piutau, Phil Burleigh, Hosea Gear, Mike Delany, Jimmy Cowan, Nasi Manu, James Haskell, Adam Thomson, Nick Crosswell, Jock Bekhuis, Ma'afu Fia, Andrew Hore, Jamie Mackintosh (capt). Reserves: Jason Rutledge, Chris King, Jarrad Hoeata, Tim Boys, Aaron Smith, Chris Noakes, Kenny Lynn.