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The Gallagher Chiefs are ready for their first trans-Tasman clash of the season when they take on the Reds in Brisbane this weekend, who will be putting it all on the line in Queensland Rugby Union’s 1000th rugby match.

Head Coach Colin Cooper is aware of this weeks’ challenge.

“Playing the Reds in Brisbane will be a tough assignment, and we’ve worked really hard with the leaders on having the right mindset. The Reds have a number of threats, with their loose forwards, midfielders and outside backs all big carriers of the ball. We need to put everything on the line for this game, with a bit of a break coming in the form of a bye next week“.

Cooper has made four changes to his forward pack, starting the impressive Karl Tu’inukuafe and Liam Polwart, and bringing back Tyler Ardron and Pita Gus Sowakula who both put in outstanding shifts in the home NZ derby against the Blues.The backline is unchanged. 

On the bench, Samisoni Taukei’aho gets his first opportunity of the season, and Sam Prattley - who has been brought in this week as an interim injury replacement - is in line to make his Gallagher Chiefs debut, bringing over 30 Super Rugby caps of experience to the side. Brad Weber makes a return into the 23, now recovered from his wrist injury.

Cooper is not discouraged about last weeks’ loss to conference leaders the Hurricanes.

“Coming off a loss makes us more determined. We were disappointed with the conversion rate of the line breaks, but the good thing about that game is that there were opportunities, but we just didn’t finish them”

The game will be played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and kicks off at 9:45pm NZT.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to take on the Reds is:

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (6)

2. Liam Polwart (13)

3. Angus Ta’avao (7)

4. Brodie Retallick (91)

5. Tyler Ardron (4)

6. Lachlan Boshier (26)

7. Sam Cane (102) co-captain

8. Pita Gus Sowakula (2)

9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (7)

10. Damian McKenzie (57)

11. Solomon Alaimalo (16)

12. Johnny Fa'auli (13)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (47)

14. Sean Wainui (7)

15. Charlie Ngatai (46) co-captain

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (2)

17. Sam Prattley *

18. Jeff Thwaites (4)

19. Luke Jacobson (4)

20. Liam Messam (169)

21. Brad Weber (47) 

22. Marty McKenzie (12)

23. Alex Nankivell (7)

Players unavailable for selection: 

Aidan Ross, Atu Moli, Dominic Bird, Fin Hoeata, Kane Hames, Mitch Brown, Mitch Graham, Nepo Laulala, Regan Verney, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson, Taleni Seu, Tim Nanai-Williams, Toni Pulu

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