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Reds not foxing - Horwill says he really is hurt

Reds captain James Horwill and Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen at Wednesday's season launch.

Reds captain James Horwill and Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen at Wednesday's season launch. Photo: Getty Images

Queensland skipper James Horwill has laughed off suggestions he will make a surprise on-field appearance in Canberra despite ACT Brumbies coach Jake White saying the Reds were trying to play mind games with their team selection.

White was adamant on Tuesday Horwill would play in the round-one blockbuster at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night even after Reds coach Ewen McKenzie ruled the influential second-rower out with an ankle injury.

Horwill insisted the Reds were not foxing ahead of the crucial Australian conference battle and he would not make his return to the field until round two. ''The ankle is not good enough to play so I'm not running out this weekend, but hopefully I will be right to play a part of [Saturday week's] game against NSW,'' he said.

White stood by his comments about mind games at the Super Rugby launch on Wednesday, but is confident the tactic will not distract the Brumbies from getting their season off to a winning start.

''I've told our boys let's not worry about what [other teams] are saying, let's worry about what we can do on the field,'' he said.

White will name his team on Thursday. He has used his full-strength team in the Brumbies' two trial matches and is likely to settle on a similar line-up.

Clyde Rathbone will make his Super Rugby comeback while Henry Speight could edge Joseph Tomane out on the other wing.

Tevita Kuridrani is pushing for a spot in the game-day 22, but with Rathbone capable of playing at outside centre the Fijian flyer will likely miss out.

Zack Holmes took over the fly-half reins in Matt Toomua's and Christian Lealiifano's absence last year and is pushing for a spot on the bench.

White could also tinker with the back row. Peter Kimlin can play as a second-rower, allowing powerhouse Fotu Auelua to join the starting XV. Auelua can play as a blindside flanker or at No.8 in a back row which also boasts David Pocock and Ben Mowen.

It might be a new Super Rugby season but the Brumbies are treating their clash with Queensland as if it was just a week after last year's season-ending loss.

Still tormented by missing the finals by one point following a last-round upset loss to the Blues, White has chosen almost the same team to face the Reds on Saturday.

''He's essentially picked the same 22 for this game as that played against the Blues,'' skipper Mowen said. ''He's actually put it back on us to say, 'Last time you guys took the field, it wasn't the result we needed. It's up to you guys to right it'. It's a pretty powerful thing to do as a coach.''

But Mowen said the loss to the Blues could be the the result that defined the team.

''In years to come, that will be a very beneficial game for us in terms of that we need to know that in every game you've got to be desperate to perform,'' Mowen explained. with AAP

POSSIBLE BRUMBIES TEAM: 1. Ben Alexander 2. Stephen Moore 3. Dan Palmer 4. Sam Carter 5. Scott Fardy 6. Peter Kimlin 7. David Pocock 8. Ben Mowen 9. Nic White 10. Matt Toomua 11. Henry Speight 12. Christian Lealiifano 13. Andrew Smith 14. Clyde Rathbone 15. Jesse Mogg. Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Ruaidhri Murphy, Colby Faingaa, Fotu Auelua, Ian Prior, Robbie Coleman, Joseph Tomane.

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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
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USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
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FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
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ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
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