Karmichael Hunt (left) and George Smith at a Queensland Reds training session.
Karmichael Hunt (left) and George Smith at a Queensland Reds training session. DAVE HUNT

Canes skipper to miss clash with Reds

RUGBY UNION: Queensland will have one less Hurricane to worry about when the reigning Super Rugby champions take on the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Hurricanes skipper Dane Coles will miss the clash at Suncorp Stadium with a bruised knee, suffered in the 41-15 win over the Highlanders two weeks ago, before their bye last week.

"Dane has a big season ahead and at some point he would have needed to be rotated out of the playing roster anyway," coach Chris Boyd said.

"We're particularly lucky in the hooking space with two very capable replacements in Ricky Riccitelli and Leni Apisai, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to give Colesy the weekend off."

The Reds are 1-4 and coming off a winless tour of South Africa and Argentina.

Reds coach Nick Stiles has brought back the experience of Test-toughened hardheads George Smith and Rob Simmons.

Toowoomba product and No.10 back-up Hamish Stewart will also make his debut off the bench.

"If the conditions are wet, it's going to be advantageous having a tough rooster with a good boot like Hamish who we like to think is a player of the future."

The Waratahs, meanwhile, look set to start rookie Mack Mason at five-eighth against the table-topping Crusaders in Sydney on Sunday.

Aaron Smith will raise his Super Rugby century when the Highlanders host the Rebels in Dunedin tonight.

News Corp Australia

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