Qld Reds coach Ewen McKenzie.
Qld Reds coach Ewen McKenzie. Phil Walter / Getty Images

Reds about to do battle with mighty British and Irish Lions

IT has been 42 long years since the British and Irish Lions last lost against an Australian provincial team.

Queensland did it back then, winning 15-11, and the class of 2013 is determined to make up for lost time against the cream of players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has named a strong 23-man line-up to try and end the drought, which, despite missing seven Wallaby squad members, still includes plenty of players with big-game experience.

The starting side includes nine capped Wallabies, while three more are on the bench.

Each member of the run-on side has also started a Super Rugby match for the Reds this season, five of whom, hooker James Hanson, prop Greg Holmes, backrowers Eddie Quirk and Jake Schatz, and fly half Quade Cooper, have played in all 15 games.

"Playing against the British and Irish Lions is a once in a career type opportunity, so to be running out in front of a sold-out crowd will be an experience these 23 players will never forget," McKenzie said.

"Our approach was always going to be to field as strong a line-up as possible and I've got every confidence in the group we've chosen to go out and compete against a very talented Lions squad.

"We've spoken as a group about the significance of these opportunities and there isn't a player out there who wouldn't want to replicate the heroics of the 1971 Queensland side."

Since losing to Queensland four decades ago, the Lions have beaten the Reds 19-15 in 1989, and 42-8 in 2001.

 

Queensland Reds

  • Ben Lucas
  • Rod Davies
  • Ben Tapuai
  • Anthony Faingaa
  • Luke Morahan
  • Quade Cooper
  • Nick Frisby
  • Jake Schatz
  • Beau Robinson
  • Eddie Quirk
  • Ed O'Donoghue
  • Adam Wallace-Harrison
  • Greg Holmes
  • James Hanson
  • Ben Daley

Reserves bench: Albert Anae, Sam Denny, Jono Owen, Radike Samo, Jarrad Butler, Jono Lance, Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley.