Western Force 2011 Rising Star award winner Patrick Dellit will make his return to Super Rugby this weekend after being selected in the run-on side to tackle the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
Dellit played with the Force A team last weekend and was one of the standout performers as he put some much needed game time into his legs after overcoming an injury niggle late in pre-season.
The hard hitting back brings plenty of added physical presence to the West Australian side and will take the No.13 jersey with midfield partner Winston Stanley moving to inside centre.
Dellit's return is the only change to the starting side with Rory Sidey moving to the reserves while Ben Whittaker has been included on the substitute’s bench. Going out of the 22 is young scrumhalf Justin Turner who suffered a slight hamstring strain as a result of being caught awkwardly in a breakdown in the opening round against the Brumbies.
Coach Richard Graham said his side was looking forward to the challenge of tackling the reigning champions and wouldn't be daunted by the occasion as the Reds play in front of their home fans at Suncorp Stadium for the first time since winning the championship there last season.
"The Reds are on a high after their efforts in 2011 and then a last second win to start the new campaign, however we don't shy away from these sorts of occasions and welcome the challenge," Graham said.
'We've got a strong rivalry with Queensland and the nature of derby matches means they are always played with a lot of intensity. We enjoy going to Brisbane and being part of that rivalry and have confidence in our preparations.
"Our focus this week has been on us, both our collective efforts as well as that of an individual's involvement and contribution to a quality performance.
"There are strong motivations for both sides to do well and I think that will translate into a high quality rugby match."
Loose forward Richard Brown, lock Sam Wykes and outside back Cameron Shepherd are all expected to come back into contention for the club’s first home game next weekend while young backrower Lachlan McCaffrey and flyhalf Kyle Godwin are progressing well and were just a few days shy of being available against the Reds.
"Having competition for places in the team is key to getting the best out of the group and with the likes of Paddy and others coming back into the frame for selection over the next few weeks it will certainly assist in creating that competition," said Graham.
Reds: 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Patrick Dellit, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Angus Cottrell, 20 Ben Seymour, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Sam Wara.
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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