Stephen Moore during a Queensland Reds training session.
Stephen Moore during a Queensland Reds training session. DAVE HUNT

Wallaby skipper Moore benched by Reds

Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore has been switched to a super-sub role in Johannesburg where Andrew Ready will set the tone at hooker for the Reds.

Carefully juggling the workload of his 117-Test veteran is a clear strategy from coach Nick Stiles, who expects Moore to be of great value as a finisher against the Lions.

After three starts, Moore will play the closing 30-40 minutes on Sunday morning (AEST) to guide young replacement props Markus Vanzati and Taniela Tupou.

"We've got complete faith in Andrew starting and having a guy of Stephen's quality on the bench provides unmatched experience at the back end of the game," Stiles said.

Kane Douglas returns at lock because young find Izack Rodda was unable to train fully this week due to the head knock that forced him off against the Crusaders last weekend.

Young inside centre Duncan Paia'aua is hoping to build on his promising midfield partnership with Quade Cooper to punch holes in the Lions defence.

"Quade's got a really beautiful footy mind and takes a lot of pressure off me," Paia'aua said.

"I think I can take a bit of pressure off him too.

"Last weekend, we only played for one half and we all know it takes 80 minutes to beat a really good team like the Lions."

Paia'aua, 22, has a silky delivery of his own when sliding into first receiver and his flick pass to winger Izaia Perese last weekend was an eye-catcher.

"I think I've found my spot (at No.12) and hopefully I can be my own player and flourish in this team of superstars," Paia'aua said.

Paia'aua can play stress free now his wedding to Sunny Flynn, his high school sweetheart from Rockhampton, has gone off without a hitch.

An 11pm flight home from Perth after the Force loss on March 2 got him to the altar the following day.

"No marks on my face or missing teeth was my wife's only request because of the wedding photos," Paia'aua said with a laugh.

"There was a bit of stress mixing footy with preparing for the big day but I only had to organise transport, accommodation and my vows.

"If life is good outside footy, it shows on the field as well."

Leaving his wife for a rugby tour just eight days into married life is not textbook.

"It means a buying a big birthday present on tour as well as getting the wins to show all the work we've done at the Reds is paying off," Paia'aua said.

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 (c). Res: Stephen Moore, Markus Vanzati, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Tui, Adam Korczyk, James Tuttle, Jake McIntyre, Chris Kuridrani.

News Corp Australia

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