James Horwill of the Queensland Reds.
James Horwill of the Queensland Reds. Hannah Johnston / Getty Images

Horwill back to lead the Reds against the Republic

QUEENSLAND captain James Horwill will be fit to lead the Reds as they look to end a two-game losing streak in South Africa this week.

Horwill missed the 32-17 bonus-point victory over the Sharks in Brisbane on Friday night after failing a concussion test, but he'll be fit to play against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday, and the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein a week later.

He replaces Adam Wallace-Harrison in the 26-man squad which left Brisbane yesterday.

The Reds, one point behind the competition leading Brumbies, have won all six games played against international sides this season, but the Republic was not a happy hunting ground last year.

The Bulls and the Sharks both beat the Queenslanders, and that's something director of coaching Ewen McKenzie is keen to address.

"We weren't happy with how we performed there last season, but we're in a completely different space this time round. We are really looking forward to the challenge of playing there," McKenzie said.

"For us, it won't be a case of wanting to make amends for last year but more about ensuring we leave South Africa having set ourselves up nicely leading into the June Test window."