SA-born twins pack down in Reds front row for Sunwolves clash

Brisbane - The Reds have made five changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Super Rugby showdown against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

In accordance with Rugby Australia's workload management policy this year, Wallabies spring tourists Taniela Tupou and Izack Rodda have been rested for this weekend.

The two forced changes see South African-born Ruan Smith partner his twin brother JP in the front row and Angus Scott-Young off the bench and into the No 6 jersey, with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto shifting to lock.

Alex Mafi will make his first run-on start at hooker for 2019, as Brandon Paenga-Amosa drops to the bench.

Isaac Lucas will wear the No 10 jersey, while Hamish Stewart is back in the starting side at fullback.

In addition to Paenga-Amosa, there’s a further four changes to the Reds interchange.

Prop Feao Fotuaika has been recalled this weekend, with lock Angus Blyth, flyhalf Teti Tela and outside back Filipo Daugunu all included in the Reds’ 23-man squad for the first time this season.

“Our performance was disappointing last week in Sydney. We can’t afford another slow start. The Sunwolves are a side who have improved greatly in the past two years,” Reds coach Brad Thron told their official website.

“This week is a pre-determined rest match by Rugby Australia for those two players. We’ve got good depth with Ruan and Angus (Scott-Young) able to slot straight in there, as well as having Lukhan’s versatility across the second and backrow.

“We’ve decided to rest Bryce this weekend to let him recover from a niggling rib injury. Isaac has played some quality Rugby in his three appearances this season. He’s played at 10 for most of his junior footy, so this is nothing new for him.

“Feao returns this week on the bench. It’s great to have Blythy, Teti and Filipo back in the side. They’ve been working hard at training and deserve their spot this week,” said Thorn.

Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 06:15 (SA time).

Teams:

Sunwolves

15 Jason Emery, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Sione Teaupa, 12 Michael Little, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Ben Gunter, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Uwe Helu, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Pauliasi Manu

Substitutes: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Asaeli Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Amanaki Mafi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Semisi Masirewa

Reds

15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi (captain), 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Isaac Lucas, 9 Moses Sorovi, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Harry Hockings, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith

Substitutes: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hooper, 18 Feao Fotuaika, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Caleb Timu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Filipo Daugunu