St.George Queensland Reds playmaker Dallan Murphy will receive his first Super Rugby starting XV opportunity after being selected at flyhalf for Sunday’s round five affair against the Bulls in Pretoria (kickoff 1:05am AEST).
Murphy, 23, will earn his second Super Rugby cap on Sunday as part of a Reds starting lineup which has made seven personnel changes following their narrow 27-22 loss to the Sharks at the weekend.
Murphy made his debut as a replacement in the Reds round 18 contest against the Chiefs in 2011 and brings with him a wealth of experience at the chief playmaking role as the captain and flyhalf of Queensland Premier Rugby heavyweights Brothers and in various Queensland A squads.
In other changes hooker Saia Faingaa will receive his first starting opportunity of 2012 as part of a revamped front-row which sees Greg Holmes shift to tighthead and Ben Daley promoted from the bench to loosehead.
Forwards Rob Simmons and Jake Schatz reclaim their spots at lock and number eight respectively while Luke Morahan comes in for suspended winger Digby Ioane on the wing.
Standout centre Ben Tapuai will move closer to the action after shifting from the number 13 jersey to inside centre while Jono Lance has won selection at outside centre.
After being flown to South Africa on short notice earlier this week as injury cover for Ben Lucas and Mike Harris, outside back Nathan Eyres-Brown could earn his Queensland and Super Rugby debut after being selected on the bench.
“We’re dealing with quite a few injuries but that doesn’t mean we fundamentally change how we play or approach the game and that is reflected in our selections,” coach Ewen McKenzie said.
“Dallan has been in our system for a long time and we have every confidence in his ability to get the job done. We’ve played around with our options at flyhalf this year but Dallan is a natural number 10 so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can offer.
“Injury limited Saia during the early stages of our campaign but he now warrants a chance in our starting team for the first time this year.”
Murphy said he was looking forward to the challenge.
“The Bulls are a formidable opponent but I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve been given and believe the familiarity I’ve had with being in the Reds setup since 2010 will put me in good stead,” Murphy said.
While in South Africa, Australian building and hardware specialist Stratco will donate $2000 for every try the Reds score as part of Queensland Rugby’s Reds For Africa charity campaign in support of World Vision Australia.
The Reds will also wear and then auction their specially-designed African themed charity jerseys worn when playing the Sharks in Durban and Bulls in Pretoria over the next two weeks.
The funds raised during the Reds For Africa campaign will go towards World Vision’s Water for the World program in Burundi, located in Eastern Africa.
To donate funds visit the Reds Everyday Hero Page here - http://www.everydayhero.com.au/QLDReds_Stratco.
Bidding lines are also now open for the Reds For Africa jerseys with fans capable of securing their very own piece of Reds history simply by texting the jersey number and bid amount to +61 448 782 119 before the auction closes on Tuesday 27 March at 5:00pm AEST.
For example to bid $1200 for Will Genia’s number nine jersey, text “9 1200”.
You can view the bidding here http://m.myqpay.com/reds/Bid.aspx.
St.George Queensland Reds team to play Bulls
1. Ben Daley
2. Saia Faingaa
3. Greg Holmes
4. Rob Simmons
5. James Horwill (c)
6. Scott Higginbotham
7. Beau Robinson
8. Jake Schatz
9. Will Genia (vc)
10. Dallan Murphy
11. Luke Morahan
12. Ben Tapuai
13. Jono Lance
14. Dom Shipperley
15. Rod Davies
16. James Hanson
17. James Slipper
18. Radike Samo
19. Van Humphries
20. Liam Gill
21. Nick Frisby
22. Nathan Eyres-Brown