Preview: Reds vs Cheetahs

The Reds and Cheetahs will be determined to return to their winning ways when they face off in Brisbane on Friday.

After impressive victories in round two both these sides suffered humiliating defeats when they returned to action last weekend. The Reds came unstuck against their traditional rivals the Waratahs, who claimed a 32-5 victory in Sydney, while the Cheetahs went down 35-14 to the Rebels in Melbourne.

There's plenty of pressure on the Reds, particularly their highly-rated halfback pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper who – after superb performances in their victorious season opener against the Brumbies in Canberra – delivered below-par efforts in the loss to the Waratahs.

The highly-rated Wallabies duo will be motivated to deliver a better display in front of the Brisbane faithful, who will get their first opportunity of the new season to see their team in action.

The Cheetahs were the surprise package in last year's competition but they've battled to replicate that form in their opening games. They suffered a shock loss at home to the Lions, in their season opener, before battling to victory over the Bulls but they were then comprehensively outplayed in their loss to the Rebels.

They were dealt a blow when first-choice tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen was ruled out of their tour with a neck injury. He's returned to South Africa, with Maks van Dyk set to start at tighthead prop.

Reds – 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley. 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Subs: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Ben Tapuai.

Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Ligtoring Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks.

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Photo: Loren Battersby/Gallo Images

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