Reds gamble on Coridas
June 1, 2011
Ben Coridas has been handed a debut by the Reds © Getty Images
Reds flanker Ben Coridas has been granted a Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in Brisbane on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old has been drafted in for the injured Beau Robinson, who suffered a dislocated elbow in last weekend's victory over the Crusaders.
Coridas, a former Waratahs development player, has been given the nod ahead of Australia Under-20s flanker Liam Gill, who has been left out of the 22-man squad despite being rushed back from the IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.
"We considered our options for replacing Beau but we recognised from our first couple of games this year that the breakdown is king," Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said.
"It's imperative you have a physical presence at the breakdown in attack and defence and Ben Coridas is a specialist who is very good at the confrontational part of the game - something which will be handy against the Brumbies.
"Liam Gill was considered but he only gets back to Brisbane on Thursday morning following some intense travel and the bulk of our preparations will already have been done by then. Liam will come back into contention next week refreshed and be ready to go."
Meanwhile, Western Force coach Richard Graham has resisted the temptation to rush James O'Connor back from injury for Friday's clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The Wallabies back has been rested again due to "general soreness", while the Force will also be without scrum-half Brett Sheehan (leg) and fly-half Willie Ripia (calf). In the only change to the starting XV that lost out to the Hurricanes last weekend, Alfie Mafi starts on the wing ahead of Nick Cummins, who has been dropped to the bench.
"We've had another week together on tour and, unlike last week where there was a number of late changes, we've had time to prepare and settle on the squad," Graham said. "Bringing in Alfie is a chance to see what he can offer and see how he goes about playing under pressure from the start. Throughout this season we've seen a number of boys, like Paddy Dellit, take their opportunities and this is a chance for Alfie to do the same."
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