Maranta gets first chance for the Reds
ONE ex-Broncos out. Another ex-Bronco in.
That's the scenario for the Reds at fullback after Karmichael Hunt was left out with concussion from their clash against the Brumbies in Canberra last Saturday night.
Lachlan Maranta, an off-season recruit from the Broncos, gets his first start in Super Rugby at fullback after coming off the bench in their match last month against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
Maranta's sturdy skillset became surplus to requirements on the wing in the eyes of Broncos coach Wayne Bennett last year, but he played 70 first-grade games across five seasons.
The 24-year-old will be eager to help the Reds to the second Super Rugby win of the season.
The stock of halfback Nick Frisby has slumped further with his absence from the 23-man squad to take on the Brumbies.
Prop Sef Fa'agase returns from a calf injury, triggering a reshuffle in the front row.
Fa'agase will start at loosehead prop, with Sam Talakai returning to his regular position of tighthead and Taniela Tupou shifted to the reserves.
Lock Izack Rodda has also been named on the bench in place of Lukhan Tui.
"I flagged at the end of last week's game there was a need for change," Reds coach Nick Stiles said.
"We're really happy with the depth we have in the squad at the moment and the competitiveness it is driving within the group for spots.
"It takes 23 players over 80 minutes to win a game of Rugby and we believe this is the team to get us an outcome this weekend.
"The players who have been named have been rewarded for their efforts on the training paddock and the field.
"There's obviously some notable omissions in Nick and Andrew.
"I had a good chat with them early in the week about their performances in recent weeks and about the expectations of the team as a whole.
"They're aware of why they've been left out of the team this week and I'm looking forward to seeing how they respond at club level this weekend."