Reds and Wallabies centre Ben Tapuai comes into the starting lineup at outside centre, following a hamstring injury to Chris Feauai-Sautia during training. Feauai-Sautia has returned to Brisbane to undergo scans.
Graham has also made two changes to his replacements bench, with Albert Anae providing cover at prop and either Anthony Fainga’a or Ben Lucas filling the final spot, with the decision to be made following training later today.
Anae has been brought into the match-day 23 following a medial ligament injury to Ben Daley in last weekend’s loss to the Sharks in Durban. Daley will be out for six weeks.
Graham said the team had prepared well despite the set backs and was looking forward to the contest.
“The Lions have been one of the form teams in the early rounds of Super Rugby. They are a young, energetic team who fight and scrap for everything,” Graham said.
“We arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday to ensure we had a good week of preparation. Unfortunately we lost Chris yesterday, but the players have trained well and we understand the importance of this game. We have spent a large part of the week focusing on our own game and wanting to improve certain aspects around the contact areas.”
The Reds and Lions have met 17 times in Super Rugby, with Queensland winning 13 of the encounters and drawing one. The Reds’ record in Johannesburg against the Lions is seven wins, one loss and one draw.
The last time the Reds and Lions met was in 2012 in Brisbane, which the Reds won 34-20.
1. James Slipper , 2. Saia Fainga’a , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Rob Simmons , 5. James Horwill (C) , 6. Eddie Quirk , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Jake Schatz , 9. Will Genia (VC) , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Lachie Turner , 12. Mike Harris , 13. Ben Tapuai , 14. Rod Davies , 15. Aidan Toua
Replacements : 16. James Hanson , 17. Albert Anae , 18. Jono Owen , 19. Ed O’Donoghue , 20. Beau Robinson , 21. Nick Frisby , 22. Anthony Fainga’a/Ben Lucas , 23. Dom Shipperley