McMeniman returns to face Cheetahs

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McMeniman returns to face Cheetahs

Hugh McMeniman will play his first Super 14 game of the season when the Reds face the Cheetahs in Brisbane.

McMeniman returned home early from the South African tour due to an illness in the family and will start at lock, with his favoured blindside position retained by Scott Higginbotham.

The only other change for Sunday’s match is the return of No 9 Ben Lucas in place of Will Genia.

Reds – Mark McLinden, Brando Va’aulu, Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes (capt), Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas; Leroy Houston, Daniel Braid, Scott Higginbotham, Hugh McMeniman, Van Humphries, Laurie Weeks, Sean Hardman, Greg Holmes. Subs: Saia Faingaa, Dayna Edwards, Adam Byrnes, Tasi Luafutu, Will Genia, Anthony Faingaa, Blair Connor.

Force change five

Force coach John Mitchell has made wholesale changes to his team to face the Brumbies in the Australian derby.

Teenage sensation James O’Connor is dropped for Junior Pelesasa after the latter has recovered from a hamstring injury. Cameron Shepherd will undergo an examination on his head injury before he makes a return on the right wing.

The other trio of changes come in the pack as loosehead Pek Cowan replaces injured Gareth Hardy, Matt Hodgson fills in for Tamaiti Horua at blindside flank, while lock Tom Hockings wins his first start of the season.

Force – Cameron Shepherd, Ryan Cross, Junior Pelesasa, Nick Cummins, Matt Giteau, Josh Valentine, Richard Brown; David Pocock, Matt Hodgson, Nathan Sharpe (c), Tom Hockings, Ben Castle, Tai McIsaac, Pek Cowan. Res: Luke Holmes, Kieran Longbottom, Richard Stanford, Tamaiti Horua, Chris O’Young, James O’Connor, Haig Sare.