Reds keen to settle score with Sunwolves

Vince Rugari
Captain Scott Higginbotham says his Queensland Reds have a score to settle with the Sunwolves

Captain Scott Higginbotham says the Queensland Reds are determined to make amends for the lowpoint of their Super Rugby season when they face the Sunwolves on Friday night.

The Reds were destroyed 63-28 the last time they faced the Japanese outfit, who recorded their first and only win against an Australian opposition.

Higginbotham didn't play that match in Tokyo in May due to a calf injury but says his side have a score to settle at Suncorp Stadium in their last outing of the year.

"Obviously losing to the Sunwolves over there, them putting 60 points on us, you've got to make amends there, I think, and this team will be keen to do so," he told reporters on Thursday.

There is more than just pride on the line for the Reds.

Another win to back up last week's impressive victory over the Melbourne Rebels would give the young Reds team a 6-10 win-loss record and make this Queensland's most successful Super Rugby season since 2013, when they last made the finals.

They are also motivated to send off departing players George Smith, Kane Douglas, Jono Lance and Eto Nabuli on a positive note.

Of that quartet, only Lance and Nabuli will actually play.

Smith was ruled out due to a knee injury while Douglas was dropped so that coach Brad Thorn could blood more new talent to end what has been a changing-of-the-guard campaign at Ballymore.

All four are heading to Europe next season, with 37-year-old Smith to round out his glittering career with a short-term stint at English Premiership side Bristol Bears.

"Especially for the Reds and these young guys coming through, I don't think they know how lucky they are having the opportunity to play with someone like George," Higginbotham said.

"It just shows that age is just a number in a rugby sense. He's an absolute freak.

"He's had a few farewells so I guess missing one more isn't too disappointing to him."

The Reds will sport an eye-catching Indigenous jersey against the Sunwolves, which Higginbotham said they would wear with pride.

"Not every player in the team is Indigenous, but we're all Australian, and this is Australian culture," he said.

"It means a lot wear this jersey and represent that."