Super Rugby: Quade Cooper receives a red card for a high tackle.
QUEENSLAND Reds will thrust Jake McIntyre in at fly-half for their important clash against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Sunday (8:40am AEDT).
Coach Nick Stiles confirmed on Monday that the 22-year-old would start in the playmaking jersey, with Test fly-half Quade Cooper heading back to Australia after being sent off for a high tackle against the Lions on the weekend.
Cooper will likely spend a week or two on the sidelines for his reckless high tackle, but will learn his fate later in the week when he faces a Sanzaar judicial hearing.
After being thrown in the deep end as the side’s sole playmaker during his first full season in 2016, McIntyre has taken a back seat thus far this season after the return of Cooper from French giants, Toulon.
Stiles said Cooper’s absence provided an opportunity for McIntyre to show his worth.
“It presents an opportunity for Jake McIntyre,” Stiles said.
“Jake basically played the full season last year at 10 for us, so the experience he would have gained last year and then topped on with the hard work he’s done over the last four-six months to improve his game.
“It creates a good chance for him to come in and step up and play 10 for us, and direct around the field and get us on the front foot, so I know he’s very excited about getting a chance to play.”
McIntyre’s return to the starting XV will see him rekindle his partnership with under-fire scrum-half Nick Frisby.
He won’t be the only young back eager to impress, however, with uncapped code-hopper Lachlan Maranta joining the Reds in Argentina.
Maranata joined the Reds this year after three-injury plagued years with the Broncos in the NRL.
The winger was branded as a “crap player” and “worst signing” he’d ever seen by former Wallaby Greg Martin last September.
Queensland are coming off a 44-14 thrashing at the hands of the Lions, who tore the Reds to shreds with an up-tempo style and dominant set-piece.
Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore will lead the side in the absence of James Slipper, whose season has been ended because of a ruptured Achilles.
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They will confront a much-improved Jaguares outfit than the one that last year registered just a handful of wins, despite boasting one of the best rosters in the competition.
“A very tough game on the weekend for us,” Stiles said.
“It was only a week ago that the Jaguares beat the Lions, so you know that they’re just a quality side.
“They’re basically a team that is filled with internationals and they’ve got a full bench of Argentinian internationals there, so you know they’ve got very strong depth.
“Listen we’re extremely disappointed with how we played last weekend.
“We need to knuckle down and concentrate on our game and making sure that we play a much better style of football this weekend, and if we do that we’ll put ourselves in a position to win the game.”
Originally published as Reds turn to McIntyre in search of rare win