McLinden to start at fullback for Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McLinden to start at fullback for Reds

18/02/2009 03:33:48 PM Comments (0)

Former NRL player Mark McLinden will make his Super 14 rugby starting debut as the Queensland Reds look to play smarter against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday (AEDT).

McLinden takes over at fullback after impressing off the bench in the first round 33-20 loss to the Bulls last weekend, allowing Wallaby winger Peter Hynes to revert to the flank at the expense of Brando Va'aulu.

Will Genia comes in as starting halfback supplanting Ben Lucas while tighthead prop Laurie Weeks also gains promotion after doing well off the bench, displacing Dayna Edwards.

"Mark (McLinden) certainly showed his skill when he came on (against the Bulls) and we believe he's earned the right to play fullback this week," said coach Phil Mooney.

"We believe we'll get more out of playing Peter Hynes on the wing as well, so it's a combination of those two elements."

Mooney said form was also the primary factor in selecting Genia ahead of Lucas at the scrumbase and Weeks at prop.

The Reds are propping up the ladder after the first round, the only team not to earn a competition point.

Mooney said they needed to cut down silly errors and play smarter if they were to succeed in the tournament.

"Three key errors - one bad scrum on the stroke of halftime and a missed tackle minutes into the second period, along with a critical turnover with one minute remaining for lock Adam Byrnes in the sinbin - changed the momentum, and the scoreline of the match, leading to three of the Bulls' four tries," he said.

"We've just got to be a bit more rugby smart."

Mooney said his side expected a more expansive game from the Stormers.

"They (the Stormers) are very aggressive at the breakdown and they like to play a ball in hand type game as opposed to the Bulls' kicking game, so I think in terms of our defence I think we are going to have to be pretty good.

"They're one of the championship contenders and Newlands is a great stadium, so we look forward to playing them there."

Queensland Reds: Mark McLinden, Digby Ioane, Charlie Fetoai, Berrick Barnes (capt), Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Leroy Houston, Daniel Braid, Scott Higginbotham, Adam Byrnes, Van Humphries, Laurie Weeks, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Dayna Edwards, Robert Simmons, Poutasi Luafutu, Ben Lucas, Anthony Faingaa, Brando Va'aulu.

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