Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore has been dropped to the bench with Andrew Ready set to start for the Queensland Reds in their Super Rugby clash with the Lions in Johannesburg.

Rated by some as Australia's long-term Test hooker in waiting, the 23-year-old's inclusion is one of three squad changes made by coach Nick Stiles for the Sunday morning clash at Ellis Park.

It comes after Moore's best performance since returning to the Reds, in last weekend's heartbreaking loss to the Crusaders.

"One of the benefits of our squad is we have genuine depth in a number of positions. Both Andrew and Stephen have been exceptional for us over the first few weeks," Stiles said.


"Stephen has started the first few rounds, but we've got complete faith in Andrew to take on the starting role and having a guy of Stephen's quality on the bench provides us with unmatched experience at the back end of the game."

Ready and Moore's running battle for the No.2 jersey always loomed as an intriguing Reds subplot this season and one of Stiles' biggest ongoing selection headaches.

He faces a difficult task in striking a balance between Ready's need for more minutes to fast-track his development, and keeping Moore happy and in-form ahead of Australia's international assignments later this year.

Queensland's other changes are to their second-row stocks, with Kane Douglas returned to the starting side to replace rookie Izack Rodda, who copped a head knock in his starting debut against the Crusaders and has been unable to train fully.

Lukhan Tui has been named on the bench for his first appearance of the season.

"Again, we've got a lot of quality depth in the lock position. Both Kane and Lukhan bring a lot of aggression and physicality, so they're a good fit for this game," Stiles said.

The Reds have lost their last nine matches on the road and have not fared well in South Africa in recent times, but Stiles said he was pleased with how they were shaping up.

"We're here to get results and a win at altitude against a quality team like the Lions would be a great reward for our hard work," he said.


Queensland Reds: Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia'aua, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby, Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Hendrik Tui, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Sam Talakai, Andrew Ready, James Slipper (capt).

Reserves: Stephen Moore, Markuz Vanzati, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Tui, Adam Korczyk, James Tuttle, Jake McIntyre, Chris Kuridrani