Rugby: Tapuai told to be more assertive in centre role

Ben Tapuai. Photo / NZPA
Ben Tapuai. Photo / NZPA

Reds coach Richard Graham wants recalled centre Ben Tapuai to be more assertive to give the Lions' unfancied backline headaches at Johannes-burg's Ellis Park this weekend.

In the only change to the team who fell 35-20 to Super Rugby frontrunners, the Sharks, Tapuai has regained the centre position from the injured Chris Feauai-Sautia (hamstring).

The seven-test Wallaby had started the season at No13 but failed to make an impact in the 27-17 win over the Brumbies and 32-5 loss to NSW.

Feauai-Sautia immediately took his chance with a two-try display against the Cheetahs and followed up against the Sharks.

Graham expects Tapuai to make the most of his chance tomorrow morning.

"For me, I want to see him be assertive in that outside channel, whether that's carrying the ball, his defence or communication," he said.

The Reds have also made changes to the reserves with Albert Anae replacing prop Ben Daley (knee) and hard-nosed centre Anthony Fainga'a set to come off the bench. An upset stomach has seen Fainga'a bracketed with utility back Ben Lucas.

Queensland go into the encounter with a 2-2 record, but can set a solid platform with a victory.

- AAP

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