SEASON ENDING: Queensland Reds interim co-coach Nick Stiles addresses the media.
SEASON ENDING: Queensland Reds interim co-coach Nick Stiles addresses the media. JULIAN SMITH

Reds to farewell stars against Rebels

RUGBY: The Queensland Reds will look to send their departing stars off in style when they play their final match of the Super Rugby season at Suncorp Stadium.

Taking on fellow also-rans the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night, the game will double as the swansong for players such as 143-game veteran Greg Holmes (headed for Exeter), flanker Liam Gill (Toulon), hooker Saia Fainga’a (Brumbies), prop Ben Daley (Force) and back-rower Curtis Browning (Lyon).

“This is an important match for everyone in the team,” Reds co-interim head coach Nick Stiles said.

“It’s the last time some of these guys will get to pull on the Queensland jersey and they’re desperate to finish their time off with a performance we can all be proud of.

“It’s been a tough season, but we’ve had great support from the Queensland faithful all year and it would mean a lot if we can see them leave the stadium with a smile on their face and some reward for their passion.”

Injured skipper James Slipper (sternum) and fullback Jack Tuttle (shoulder) will have to watch on from the sidelines, their spots taken by Sef Fa’agase and Tom Banks.

The match will be Banks’ first start in Super Rugby, after making his Reds debut off the bench last year.

Holmes will depart the Reds as the most-capped prop in Queensland rugby history, after overtaking Stan Pilecki in 2015.

He will also be second on the list for overall appearances for his state (behind Sean Hardman on 148).

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