Ray of hope for Rubble Reds

The injury-ravaged Reds were given some good news when Matt Cockbain was cleared to make a Vodacom Super 14 comeback.

Cockbain returned from his Japan club Kubota a fortnight ago and offered his services to the embattled Reds, who are still without a win after three rounds.

“The way I understand it, we can use Matt if we have an injury to one of our contracted secondrowers and we don’t have anyone else available that’s contracted in the secondrow to play,” Jeff Miller told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s great that we have depth across the squad. We have young players vying for positions but if we need experience we’ve got Matt there as well who can help us out.”

Queensland have been hampered by injury with veteran lock Mark Connors, emerging flyhalf Berrick Barnes, prop Tom Court, regular captain John Roe, utility back Tim Atkinson and reserve halfback Nic Berry sidelined this weekend.

The Reds broke a six-year losing run in New Zealand when they beat the Chiefs in the corresponding match last season, and believe they can take four points away from Saturday’s game. “Hopefully that breaks the hoodoo,” Miller laughed.

REDS: 15 Chris Latham (c), 14 Henari Veratau, 13 Julian Huxley, 12 Lloyd Johansson, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Elton Flatley, 9 Sam Cordingley, 8 Mitchell Chapman, 7 David Croft, 6 Tom McVerry, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Cameron Treloar, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Greg Holmes.
Subs: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Anthony Mathison, 18 James Horwill, 19 Ole Avei, 20 Josh Valentine, 21 Steve Kefu, 22 Caleb Brown.

CHIEFS: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sosene Anesi, 13 Mark Ranby, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Byron Kelleher, 8 Sione Lauaki, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Steven Bates, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Jono Gibbes (c), 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tom Willis, 1 Deacon Manu.
Subs: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Simms Davison, 18 Sean Hohneck, 19 Kristian Ormsby, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Loki Crichton, 22 Lelia Masaga.