With a slight chance of still making the playoffs, the Blues will be going to Australia to get a bonus point win to keep their hopes alive.
For the Reds is is more or less over but we can be sure that they will go full out in the last two matches of the season.
The Reds have shown much improvement this season and ending well will be something they want to do building towards the 2020 season.
They made three changes to the side for this weekend which sees Rodda returning after a rest week with Salakaia-Loto sitting this one out.
Malulua will start fir the first time at the number 9 jumper with McDermott out with a ankle injury.
We also see Mafi coming back at hooker with Paenga-Amosa dropping to the bench.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said:“We’re playing in front of our Queensland fans for the final time this year. We thank them for their support and look forward to seeing them on Friday night,”
The Blues will be missing some of their stars this weekend as they will be without Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Patrick Tuipulotu and Karl Tu’inukuafe for the Reds game.
Williams was due to return this week but did not make his fitness test.
Ma’a Nonu was due to start from the bench bit have now been drafted back into the starting XV.
Papalii will be back at the side of the scrums as well as Augustine Pulu and Otere Black selected in the nine and 10 jerseys, replacing Jonathan Ruru and Harry Plummer.
This is going to be a difficult game for the Blues but one they can pull through.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The last eight Super Rugby matches between the Reds and Blues saw the Queensland side win the first four games, with the Auckland side undefeated in the last four (W3, D1).
- The Reds have lost their last two Super Rugby games on the bounce at home; the last time they went longer without a win at home was a five-game stretch across the 2015/16 campaigns (D1, L4).
- The Blues succumbed to a 26-21 defeat to the Brumbies in their last Super Rugby game in Australia, snapping a five-game winning streak in the country for the Auckland side.
- The Blues enjoy a success rate of 97% at the scrum this Super Rugby campaign, having lost just four scrums on their own feed thus far.
- The Reds’ Samu Kerevi has made the most carries (187), beaten the most defenders (58) and made the second most offloads (20) of any player in Super Rugby 2019.
Prediction: With so many players missing the Blues will struggle, Reds by 7
Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jock Campbell, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 Matt McGahan, 9 Scott Malolua, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith
Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Gav Luka, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Hamish Stewart
Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Tanielu Tele’a, 10 Otere Black, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (captain), 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Lua Li, 19 Tom Robinson, 20 Josh Goodhue, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Levi Aumua