Super 14
Braid set for Reds debut in Auckland
January 27, 2009
Daniel Braid of Auckland on his way to score during the Air New Zealand Cup match between Auckland and Taranaki at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand on August 10,  2008.
Daniel Braid will be facing many familiar faces as he makes his Reds debut against the Blues © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Dan Braid
Tournaments/Tours: Super 14

There will be a high-pressure homecoming for Queensland Reds flanker Daniel Braid as he makes his debut against his former club the Blues in Auckland on Friday night.

Four-cap All Black openside Braid, 27, signed for the Reds as one of their marquee overseas players at the end of last season, ending a long association with Auckland and the Blues. Now he is set to run out in familiar surrounding as his new side battles his old in a Super 14 warm-up game.

"He's obviously a guy who's been a great servant to Auckland rugby and I suppose he'll have some mixed feelings running out in a different coloured jersey against a lot of his friends," said Reds coach Phil Mooney. "But he's been excellent for us and I guess if he wanted to pick a place to start his Queensland career it'd probably be over in Auckland against the Blues."

The Reds are set to be skippered by prop Greg Holmes, with last season's captain James Horwill still out with a foot injury and his replacement Berrick Barnes nursing a knee problem.

"Greg is part of the leadership group and with Berrick and James out I believe he is probably the best suited to lead the team this week," said Mooney. "It's a great reward for him. He's worked very hard in the off-season and this is more responsibility that he deserves."

The Reds will welcome back Quade Cooper to fly-half, while Wallabies Peter Hynes and Digby Ioane return on the wings and Hugh McMeniman in the back-row for the first time this year.


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