Backrow warrior Liam Gill has been grounded for a month with a lower back stress fracture that has spun a crisis into the Red ranks before Saturday night's season opener against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney.
The standout flanker is an irreplaceable factor in the Reds cause not just because he forced the most turnovers (30) in Super Rugby last year but because his breakdown skills stifle the quick flow of attacking sides like the Israel Folau-fired Waratahs.
Gill, also recovering from a shoulder issue, was an onlooker at training to start the week when the versatile Curtis Browning filled in at flanker. He will be the replacement for this scene-setting game.
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