Injury blow for Reds ahead of Tokyo clash
THE winless Queensland Reds must find a new flyhalf with Bryce Hegarty ruled out of Saturday's redemption mission in Tokyo.
Hamish Stewart should be in line for a recall at No.10 after Hegarty was absent when the Queenslanders boarded Tuesday's flight for Japan.
Damaged rib cartilage has grounded Hegarty and he has been given extra recovery time before the Reds' next home game against the Brumbies on Sunday week.
Stewart, utility Teti Tela and rookie fullback Isaac Lucas are the options to play flyhalf against the dangerous Sunwolves.
Stewart played a solid, error-free game against the Highlanders in the opening round and if ever the Reds need to back such traits it is to stay in control against the Sunwolves.
The Reds had a diabolical 63-28 crashlanding in Tokyo last year.
Dozy errors, cheap breakdown and offside penalties, charged-down kicks and defensive short-circuits were only the start of the calamity that angered coach Brad Thorn.
The Reds need to ignite their season and good news from skipper Samu Kerevi is a start.
He is moving freely after dislocating a toe against the NSW Waratahs last weekend and is certain to start in the centres against a familiar face.
Sunwolves centre Michael Little was born in Italy, where his All Black father Walter once played, and featured for the Fiji Under-20s with a young Kerevi.
The Reds will welcome the change in weather conditions.
Backrower Angus Scott-Young lost 4kg in Tuesday's 37 degree heat during the Reds' training run at Ballymore before jetting off to Tokyo's cool 13 degrees.