Reds and Wallabies star Radike Samo has been selected at No.8 for his first start of the 2012 Super Rugby season when the Reds clash with the Western Force on Saturday.
Samo is one of five positional changes, joining hooker Albert Anae and inside centre Jono Lance as the new faces to commence the match, with Scott Higginbotham (gluteus muscle) and Anthony Faingaa (hamstring) to miss the encounter through injury after starring in last Saturday's 25-21 win over the Waratahs.
Faingaa will miss Saturday's contest after suffering a slight hamstring strain against the Waratahs, while Higginbotham, who celebrated his 50th cap for Queensland and in Super Rugby in dynamic fashion last week, hasn't been considered for selection after straining his gluteus muscle during Tuesday's training session at Ballymore.
Faingaa and Higginbotham will continue recuperating from minor injury concerns and have been afforded the opportunity at this early stage of the season to continue their recovery from the sideline to ensure they return to peak fitness.
Hooker James Hanson has been chosen on the bench after overcoming an ankle injury he sustained in the final minute of the Waratahs success.
The remaining two changes to the starting line-up see Jake Schatz shift from No.8 to blindside flank and Ben Tapuai wearing the No.13 jersey after last week being chosen at inside centre.
The Reds bench also has a further two new faces with backrower Eddie Quirk and wing Rod Davies in line to make their first Super Rugby appearance of 2012.
Davies (hamstring) has overcome a preseason injury while Quirk has been rewarded for his efforts in captaining Queensland A to a 36-24 victory over the Fiji Warriors on Monday.
"There are a few changes but we are lucky in that we have strong depth and aren't forced to rush Anthony or Scott back before they are ready," coach Ewen McKenzie said.
"Their injuries aren’t severe and won't impact the team in the long-term if they are managed correctly, so we have taken this opportunity at an early stage of our campaign to get them 100 percent right. We don't want a one week injury turning into a one month injury.
"The reality is injuries are part of any campaign and while we lose a couple of players we also get a Wallaby back in Rod Davies.
"Jono has proven he is more than capable of stepping up and will feel more at home on Saturday in the centres after showing us he can excel anywhere following his cameo at fullback in the Super Rugby Finals last year.
"Albert is one of a number of young players that have been impressing coaches during the preseason and he now has an opportunity to show us what he's got."
Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Jono Lance, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Albert Anae, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Van Humphries, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Eddie Quirk, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Rod Davies.
Date: Saturday, March 3
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Simon Moore (Australia)
TMO: Andrew Lees (Australia)
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