St.George Queensland Reds playmaker Sam Lane has been retained at flyhalf for tomorrow night‚Äôs blockbuster FxPro Super Rugby encounter against South African conference leaders the Stormers at Suncorp Stadium (kickoff 7:40pm).
Centre Mike Harris also returns from a hamstring injury to earn selection at inside centre while backrower Radike Samo has been thrust into the starting lineup at number eight.
Samo will enter the game with added motivation as the match will form the centre of Queensland Rugby‚Äôs fundraising efforts for flood-ravaged Fiji, where Samo‚Äôs home village of Narewa, located near Nadi, was destroyed by the natural disaster.
To assist a Queensland Rugby charity initiative is aiming to raise more than $50,000 for Fiji and to save the ‚Äėfro of Samo.¬† Should the fundraising target not be reached, Samo will shave off his trademark afro.
Flyhalf Lane made a huge impact in his Queensland and Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies a fortnight ago and has now been retained for a contest against his former province.
Before joining Australian Rugby‚Äôs National Academy at the beginning of 2012, Lane was a member of the Stormers provincial outfit the Western Province, where he featured in both the Vodafone Cup and Varsity Cup competitions.
Lane will play inside returning goal kicking ace Harris, whose inclusion at inside centre means Ben Tapuai reverts back to the number 13 jersey.
On the bench Ben Lucas and Jake Schatz have also overcome injuries to gain selection in the matchday 22.¬† Flyer Aidan Toua wasn‚Äôt considered for selection after sustaining a minor leg injury at training earlier in the week.
‚ÄúSam did an admirable job in completing everything we asked of him against the Brumbies and we have always been about rewarding performance,‚ÄĚ coach Ewen McKenzie said.
‚ÄúHe produced under difficult circumstances and on short notice in our last match so we‚Äôre excited to see what he can produce against his former province.
‚ÄúThe Stormers like to physically impose themselves on matches so we‚Äôre matching fire with fire with our selection.¬† Radike will also have plenty of motivation for this clash as we try to raise money for Fiji while having our most established goal kicker back in Mike is a major plus.‚ÄĚ
St.George Queensland Reds team to play Stormers
1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ben Daley
2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† James Hanson
3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† James Slipper
4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Rob Simmons
5.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† James Horwill (c)
6.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Scott Higginbotham
7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Beau Robinson
8.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Radike Samo
9.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Will Genia (vc)
10.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sam Lane
11.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Dom Shipperley
12.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Mike Harris
13.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ben Tapuai
14.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Rod Davies
15.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Luke Morahan
16.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Albert Anae
17.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Greg Holmes
18.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Van Humphries
19.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Jake Schatz
20.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Liam Gill
21.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ben Lucas
22.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Nick Frisby