Nick Frisby is back to face the Rebels.
Nick Frisby is back to face the Rebels. DAVE HUNT

Frisby gets chance to rediscover his spark

WALLABY halfback Nick Frisby has been recalled to the Queensland Reds starting side after four games in limbo to rediscover his spark.

Frisby's return for Saturday night's clash against the Melbourne Rebels in Melbourne is a desperation game for both clubs.

The 2-8 Reds still hold a flicker of hope they might qualify for finals from the stagnant Australian Conference while the Rebels' emotions are being taxed afresh with speculation the club will fold should an Australian Rugby Union buyout go ahead.

Frisby has been sidelined or in the reserves for a month since the halfback and hooker Andrew Ready tripped up several times on standards expected for preparation and team culture.

Both were to be axed even before an ill-timed night out drinking turned the call into a slam dunk from coach Nick Stiles after the loss to the Hurricanes on April Fools Day.

In four months, Frisby went from being a Wallabies reserve at Twickenham to club footy in Brisbane.

Stiles hopes Frisby returns as the player he was last year.

"I'm hoping Fris gets some fun and enjoyment back in his head,” Stiles said at the time of Frisby's demotion.

"It was a big year physically and mentally (in 2016) and Nick has probably come back from that Wallaby tour a little drained and that has transferred into his prep and performance.”

Frisby is a valuable addition for the Melbourne match because he deserve seem to perform against the Rebels.

In 2014, he scored a try double in an influential display at AAMI Park to help the Reds wins 36-20.

Karmichael Hunt's return from a knee injury at fullback has prompted a backline reshuffle.

Duncan Paia'aua returns to inside centre and captain Samu Kerevi is back to outside centre.

Campbell Magnay moves from the centres to the wing instead of Izaia Perese.

Frisby will wear No.9 while improver James Tuttle takes a spell altogether because Moses Sorovi has been brought into the 23 as reserve scrumhalf.

"It's great to be able to bring Karmichael back into the side, he has been in fantastic form,” Stiles said.

"He's arguably our most consistent player and the physicality and chat he brings to the game provides his teammates with a lot of confidence, which allows us to play our best football. He was sorely missed last week.

"In terms of the other changes in the backline, we've been happy with the development of Bobby (James Tuttle) and Izaia, but both Nick and Campbell deserve an opportunity in the starting side after working hard in the background to get back to their best. 

"We've brought Moses into the reserves because he is a different style of player to Nick and Bobby and feel he can provide a spark off the bench if needed.

"The Rebels will be a tough challenge. Both sides are coming off disappointing losses so there's no shortage of motivation.”

Rebels v Reds

Saturday, AAMI Park, 7.45pm

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