James O'Connor and Quade Cooper will go head-to-head in the Super Rugby match between the Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds.
James O'Connor and Quade Cooper will go head-to-head in the Super Rugby match between the Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds. Getty Images

Quade keen to prove Deans wrong in game against Rebels

QUEENSLAND Reds playmaker Quade Cooper will be out to prove a point, and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans wrong, when he goes head-to-head with James O'Connor in Brisbane tomorrow night.

O'Connor has recovered from the chest injury he picked against the Blues in round 13 and will take his place in the Melbourne Rebels run-on side at Suncorp Stadium.

Deans named O'Connor ahead of Cooper in his initial 25-man squad to face the British and Irish Lions, citing O'Connor's superior defence as one of the reasons for the selection.

Meanwhile, Queensland hooker James Hanson will play his 50th game after director of coaching Ewen McKenzie made five changes to the starting line-up from the team that lost against the Stormers in Cape Town last week.

Eddie Quirk and Beau Robinson come in at blindside and openside flanker respectively, while injuries to Chris Feauai-Sautia (hamstring) and Jono Lance (neck) see Ben Tapuai come in at outside centre and playmaker Ben Lucas wear the No.15 jersey for the first time this year.

The Reds have only lost at once at Suncorp in seven outings this season - against the Western Force in round five.


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