Queensland will delay the rest scheduled for captain and damaging centre Samu Kerevi who was named to lead the Reds against the Sharks in Durban on Friday.
Kerevi had planned to miss at least one of the side's two Super Rugby matches on the South African tour as part of the Wallabies' World Cup preparation, but will play both as Brad Thorn's men (3-5) search for a much-needed victory.
The lead-by-example skipper has the most carries (108) and fourth-most metres gained (488) this season, while he has managed five tries and a competition-best 36 tackle evasions in the Reds' eight games.
His devastating running game has inspired a young Reds outfit so far this season and was deemed essential as they chase their first win in South Africa since 2015.
It would be a monumental achievement considering April 2004 was the last time the Reds came away from Durban with victory and that the Sharks have won 21 of their past 26 home games against Australian opposition.
The Sharks' 51-17 loss at home to Argentina's Jaguares last weekend shows it is possible though, with Wallabies winger Sefa Naivalu's return from enforced rest a boost for the side.
"After last week's result, they'll be hungry and looking to put in a big performance in front of their home fans," Thorn said of the Sharks.
"It's great to have Sefa back; he was missed last week. After sitting out against the Bulls, he's ready to rip in."
Promoted prop Harry Hoopert will earn his first Super Rugby start, while Angus Scott-Young has also been elevated off the bench and into the No.6 jersey, pushing Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to lock.
JP Smith and Harry Hockings drop to the bench while backrower Adam Korczyk is a chance of playing his first game of the season.
Assistant coach Peter Ryan has asked for big improvements after the side's 32-17 loss - featuring 35 missed tackles - to the Bulls in Pretoria last Sunday.
"If you asked any one of the players we would all say we were pretty disgusted with our performance," Ryan said.
"And there's no excuse for the way that we played.
"If our defence is as it was last week, they'll put 50 points on us clearly and easily."
QUEENSLAND: Harry Hoopert, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright, Scott Higginbotham, Tate McDermott, Bryce Hegarty, Jack Hardy, Samu Kerevi (capt), Chris Feauai-Sautia, Sefa Naivalu, Hamish Stewart. Reserves: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, JP Smith, Ruan Smith, Harry Hockings, Adam Korczyk, Moses Sorovi, Duncan Paia'aua, Jock Campbell.
Australian Associated Press