Reds shuffle pack for Brumbies Super clash

Bryce Hegarty returns to the No.10 jumper for Queensland's clash with the Brumbies.
Bryce Hegarty returns to the No.10 jumper for Queensland's clash with the Brumbies.

It's a case of another week, another halves pairing for Queensland after scrumhalf Tate McDermott was promoted to partner fit-again Bryce Hegarty in the Reds' clash with the Brumbies.

The duo will be the fourth combination tested by the Reds in five games this season, but attack coach Jim McKay insists it's no sign of panic.

Hegarty returns after a rib injury kept him off the plane to Japan last week, while McDermott came off the bench to inspire a comeback win over the Sunwolves.

The similarly electric Moses Sorovi makes way for McDermott, while Isaac Lucas also returns to the bench and Hamish Stewart remains at fullback after both had been tried at No.10 this season.

Wallabies pair Izack Rodda and Taniela Tupou are also welcome additions for coach Brad Thorn after being rested last week.

Rodda will come off the bench, while Chris Feauai-Sautia has been named in the centres ahead of Duncan Paia'aua.

That shift also sees Filipo Daugunu shifted from the bench to the wing after his late-game cameo last weekend helped set up victory.

McKay said the backline shuffle was about playing the cards they'd been dealt.

"Sometimes things happen by design or default," he said, lamenting the need to rest Hegarty last week after he had taken ownership of the No.10 jersey.

"He's (McDermott) earnt his opportunity ... it's a good opportunity to see how he goes starting the game.

"It's really a rotation there (with Sorovi to enter the game late), but at the same time Tate's really earned his spot."

The Reds (1-3) will play three consecutive home games and can apply serious conference pressure with victory on Sunday against the 2-3 Brumbies.

"It was vital we won," McKay said of the Sunwolves breakthrough.

"We were very, very determined, had strong belief but gee we made it hard for ourselves."

Brumbies prop James Slipper will start against his former club, with Wallabies pair Alan Alaalatoa and David Pocock both still in the casualty ward.

Queensland: Feao Fotuaika, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Harry Hockings, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright, Scott Higginbotham, Tate McDermott, Bryce Hegarty, Sefa Naivalu, Samu Kerevi, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart. Reserves: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Harry Hoopert, Ruan Smith, Izack Rodda, Fraser McReight, Moses Sorovi, Duncan Paia'aua, Isaac Lucas.

ACT: James Slipper, Folau Faingaa, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Pete Samu, Tom Cusak, Lachlan McCaffrey, Joe Powell, Christian Lealiifano, Lausii Taliauli, Irae Simone, Tevita Kuridrani, Henry Speight, Tom Banks. Reserves: Josh Mann-Rea, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Blake Enever, Murray Douglas, Jahrome Brown, Matt Lucas, Jordan Jackson-Hope.

Australian Associated Press