Reds to unveil Super Rugby rookie

What has been billed as a fond farewell to two Queensland greats may also provide a long-awaited welcome to a highly-rated Reds rookie.

Queensland coach Richard Graham has named an unchanged starting side for Will Genia and James Horwill’s Suncorp Stadium swansong on Saturday night against the Chiefs.

Horwill (Harlequins) and Genia (Stade Francais) leave after the World Cup, ensuring this weekend’s Super Rugby clash will be their last for the Reds at their beloved home ground.

However, it may also unveil an exciting debutant after New Zealand-born Japanese Test player Hendrik Tui was named on an extended bench.

The destructive ball runner has finally made a Reds squad after an injury disrupted return from Suntory Sungoliath in the All-Japan Championship.

He was set to miss a number of Super Rugby games due to Japan club commitments but his Reds arrival was delayed even further after breaking his leg for Suntory.

Graham liked the look of Tui, who has played 27 Tests for Japan, since chiming into the Queensland Premier Rugby for Norths in the past fortnight.

“We brought him here obviously because he carried the ball strongly and he’s played two club games now for Norths,” Graham said.

“I’ve watched both those games and his ability to break the line has been impressive.”

Wallabies hooker Saia Fainga’a is also on the bench after returning from a rib injury.

Graham is yet to decide the player he will trim from the interchange.

He has named the same starting side that notched a bonus-point 32-10 win over the Western Force in Perth last weekend.

“Every team wants to build some continuity and that comes through consistency of selection for the right reasons,” Graham said of the Reds who are 12th in the standings in an injury ravaged season.

“Every team goes through their challenges. We’ve probably had a few more than others this year, having given 17 debuts this year to players.

“It was good on the back of a performance last week to give that same group the opportunity to play again this weekend.”

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