New men at helm ring the changes for Reds
New Queensland Reds co-coaches Matt O'Connor and Nick Stiles have wasted no time putting their stamp on the team, relegating World Cup hero Ayumu Goromoru to the bench for tomorrow night's Super Rugby clash against the Rebels in Melbourne.
The move is one of five changes to the side that was beaten 22-6 by the Western Force last weekend - a loss that was the last straw for the Reds hierarchy who responded by dumping coach Richard Graham.
Goromoru, who became a superstar in Japan after leading the Cherry Blossoms to a historic victory over South Africa in last year's World Cup, has been replaced by Karmichael Hunt, who started at fullback in game one, but switched to the centres against the Force.
"With Karmichael, he has demonstrated his best position for the team at the moment is at fullback," O'Connor said. "Having Ayumu in the reserves adds experience to the bench, and the ability to call on a world-class goal kicker when required."
Loose-head prop Sef Fa'agase, hooker Andrew Ready and flanker Waita Setu will make their first starts for the Reds, replacing Ben Daley, Saia Fainga'a (foot) and Curtis Browning respectively. Experienced former Wallaby Anthony Fainga'a will start at inside centre.
Meanwhile, Brumbies back-rowers Blake Enever and Ita Vaea will miss tonight's match against the Western Force in Perth after picking up injuries in the 32-15 win over the Waratahs last Friday night.
Rory Arnold comes back into the starting side for Enever (shoulder), while Jarrad Butler gets his first start of the year after replacing Vaea (finger).
The Force is third in the Australasian group after its win over the Reds, and the battle between captain Matt Hodgson and star Brumbies flanker David Pocock will be one of the highlights of the match.
Wallabies back-rower Ben McCalman has been named at No.8 after easing back into the Super Rugby competition with 10 minutes off the bench in the win over the Reds. McCalman had a stint with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan after the World Cup.