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Reds dreaming of second Kiwi scalp

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/07/2016 By Vince Rugari

They've done it once this year, and now the Queensland Reds are daring to dream of a second New Zealand scalp.

The Reds host one of the Super Rugby title favourites the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Queensland caused the boilover of the season when they held on for a 28-27 win over defending champions the Highlanders in April, and there is growing confidence at Ballymore they can upset another big gun.

"They're the best team in the comp, by a long way," halfback Nick Frisby said of the Chiefs, who are equal $4.25 favourites along with the Crusaders to win the competition this year.

"They've got a lot of threats across the board, a lot of quality players who can hurt you.

"(But) we really lifted against the Highlanders earlier in the year and we're looking to bring the same sort of game this week."

Kane Douglas has been promoted to the starting side after making an impressive comeback from a long-term knee injury off the bench against the Brumbies last week.

The only other change by the Reds sees rookie Duncan Paia'aua handed his debut start at five-eighth, in place of the injured Jake McIntyre (ankle).

Paia'aua is a former Brisbane NRL junior who returned to his original code last year, and was handed an immediate chance to establish himself at No.10 in pre-season when Quade Cooper went down with a shoulder injury.

The opportunity came too soon for the 21-year-old, who later battled concussion issues.

Meanwhile, injured lock Rob Simmons won't be fit in time for next weekend's final match of the regular season against the Blues, meaning his focus is now the Rugby Championship.

Karmichael Hunt (groin) also remains unlikely to play again for the Reds this year but McIntyre is a slight chance of returning, despite spending much of this week in a moon boot.

Queensland Reds: Jack Tuttle, Chris Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Henry Taefu, Eto Nabuli, Duncan Paia'aua, Nick Frisby, Curtis Browning, Liam Gill, Hendrik Tui, Kane Douglas, Cadeyrn Neville, Greg Holmes, Andrew Ready, James Slipper (c). Reserves: Matt Mafi, Sef Fa'agase, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Tui, Leroy Houston, James Tuttle, Anthony Fainga'a, Campbell Magnay.

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