Last meeting: Final 2011 - Reds 18 bt Crusaders 13 at Suncorp Stadium Head-to-head: Played 18 Crusaders 12Reds 6 Referee: Ian Smith (AUS)
Greg Growden writes: Those masterful manipulators in Brisbane are delighted that Will Genia is staying, but Christchurch should bring everyone back to reality. The Crusaders are building momentum and are the team to beat. The Reds are better than the Waratahs but are expected to suffer similar pain.
AAP writes: The Reds can expect a vicious Christchurch welcome on Sunday as the seven-time champions look to avenge last year's final defeat. Queensland are at long odds to score a fourth straight win over the Crusaders but not in the eyes of coach Ewen McKenzie, who believes his side has turned the corner with their 23-11 win over the Blues. The return of the Faingaa twins beefs up both their backline and front-row stocks and the only cavalry member left to appear is Quade Cooper. The Reds must cope with the home side's powerful scrum and also shut down Robbie Fruean in the midfield. All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is in line for a run-on start after his 20-minute return in the 37-33 win over NSW.
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CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Sean Maitland/Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Dan Carter, Zac Guildford, Tom Taylor, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Tom Donnelly, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Samuel Whitelock, Richie McCaw, Willi Heinz, Ryan Crotty, Tom Marshall.
REDS: Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris, Digby Ioane, Ben Lucas, Will Genia, Scott Higginbotham, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, James Hanson, Greg Holmes. Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Albert Anae, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Radike Samo, Eddie Quirk, Nick Frisby, Rod Davies.