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Faingaa gets captaincy nod

Anthony Faingaa.

Anthony Faingaa. Photo: Bradley Kanaris

Centre Anthony Faingaa will captain a 28-strong Queensland Reds squad boasting 11 Wallabies in their opening Super Rugby trial against the Blues at Toowoomba on Saturday night.

Faingaa beat a host of stars vying for the captaincy job with Wallabies skipper James Horwill (hamstring) still regaining fitness and halfback Will Genia (knee) sidelined. Faingaa will fit into a near-full-strength back line, featuring playmaker Quade Cooper six days before he makes his professional boxing debut.

Cooper will combine with Ben Lucas in the halves. Faingaa and Ben Tapuai are in the centres, Luke Morahan and Digby Ioane are on the wings and Mike Harris is at fullback. Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie said he was searching for balance in his side.

''There is always a delicate balance in choosing a trial team and it's important we get our selections right,'' McKenzie said.

''The inclusion of so many Wallabies is about being sure we are ready to play the Brumbies in round one. We've only got two trials before our opening Super Rugby game and we need to get the most out of them.

''Every year there is any number of young players that use these trial games to push their case for selection.'' AAP

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