The Queensland Reds named their first unchanged squad of the season for the July 9 Super Rugby final against the Canterbury Crusaders in Brisbane.
The Reds retained the same 22-man squad that beat the Auckland Blues to qualify for the team’s first final in the prefessional rugby era. Coach Ewen McKenzie only named the same starting 15 once before this year, against the Crusaders in round 13 of the regular season.
“At this stage you benefit greatly from continuity,” McKenzie said in a team statement. “We’ve benefited from a whole squad effort in 2011 but feel we have the right mix of experience and talent to be successful on Saturday night.”
The Crusaders, seeking a record-extending eighth southern hemisphere provincial rugby championship, also named an unchanged lineup from their semifinal win over the Stormers, though scrum-half Andy Ellis and reserve forward Luke Romano face fitness tests that may rule them out of the match at Suncorp Stadium.
QUEENSLAND REDS: Jono Lance, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Radike Samo, Beau Robinson, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley.
Reserves: James Hanson, Guy Shepherdson, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Ian Prior, Will Chambers.
CRUSADERS: Tom Marshall, Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis/ Kahn Fotuali'i, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Luke Romano/ Chris Jack, Matt Todd, Kahn Fotuali’i/Willi Heinz, Matt Berquist, Ryan Crotty.