WALLABIES NO 8 Radike Samo has been relegated to the bench for the Reds’ opening Super Rugby match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night.
Jake Schatz will take Samo's place at the back of the scrum in the Australian derby match.
The Reds’ 22-man squad features 15 players from last year’s historic victory over the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final.
Scott Higginbotham, who missed the side’s pre-season matches against the Brumbies and Western Force, has recovered from a back injury and will pack down at blindside flanker.
Hooker James Hanson and wing Dom Shipperley replace the crocked Saia Faingaa (ankle) and Rod Davies (hamstring) respectively in the starting XV.
Will Genia will partner Mike Harris in the inside backs.
Coach Ewen McKenzie has gone for a 5-2 split on the bench, with forwards Greg Holmes, Albert Anae, Van Humphries, Liam Gill and Samo joining versatile backs Ben Lucas and Jono Lance.
Reds: Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Digby Ioane, Mike Harris, Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Beau Robinson, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (c), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, James Hanson, Ben Daly
Reserves: Albert Anae, Greg Holmes, Van Humphries, Liam Gill, Radike Samo, Ben Lucas, Jono Lance
With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.