Reds recall Hunt for Loftus clash

Karmichael Hunt will start at fullback in one of six changes to the Reds team to face the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus on Saturday.

Hunt will start his first match since being suspended for six weeks after pleading guilty to cocaine possession. Reds coach Richard Graham has resisted the urge to throw him back in at flyhalf in place of the injured Quade Cooper, with Nick Frisby instead being handed the No 10 jersey.

Elsewhere in the backline, a calf injury has ruled James O'Connor out, with Lachie Turner shifting to the wing to accomodate Hunt.

'Karmichael has trained with the team for the past few weeks and played about 20 minutes last weekend,' said Graham. 'He hasn’t said a great deal but I can tell he is really looking forward to getting into the game from the start. He is an excellent communicator and having him involved will assist Will [Genia] and Nick with the shape of our game.'

In more positive news, the Reds will welcome back Wallabies lock Rob Simmons, who will make his first start of the season in place of the suspended James Horwill.

Hooker Saia Fainga’a also returns to the starting side, with James Hanson moving to the bench, while an injury to Jake Schatz has forced a shuffle in the back row, with Curtis Browning starting at blindside flanker and Adam Thomson shifting to No 8.

Reds – 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Tom Murday, 21 Adam Korczyk, 22 Ben Tapuai, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Super Rugby teams (Round 9)

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images