Melbourne - Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar has made two changes to his starting line-up that was defeated by the Reds in Queensland for Friday’s clash against the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
Wallaby international prop forward Scott Sio has recovered from injury and is named in the front row in place of Ben Alexander whilst flanker Lolo Fakaosilea, who enjoyed a lively cameo off the bench in Brisbane, is included from the start as Tom Cusack is named as a replacement.
Other than that, it’s the same team that took to the field at Suncorp Stadium with Josh Mann-Rea and Allan Alaalatoa joining Sio in the front row with Sam Carter, captaining the team, and Rory Arnold packing down behind them.
The backrow features Fakaosilea, Lachlan McCaffrey and Isi Naisarani, the latter at number eight and hoping to add to his maiden Brumbies try scored late in the piece last week.
The backline has a familiar look to it as Joe Powell and Christian Lealiifano continue their halfback partnership, with Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani offering pace and presence in midfield.
Out wide, the speedy Henry Speight and Chance Peni will be looking for more ball in hand and space to exploit with hard-running fullback Tom Banks completing the starting XV.
Whilst the starting side might not show many changes, there are three new faces on the bench this weekend as McKellar rotates his finishers for the Brumbies third away match in succession.
Two of those changes are in the front row replacements, as Folau Fainga’a gets the opportunity for a possible first cap with Faalelei Sione drafted back into the match day twenty-three alongside Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin.
Richie Arnold, who became a father last week, is recalled to the squad in place of Blake Enever as McKellar rotates his world-class batch of locks with Cusack completing the forwards in a five-three split. The replacement backs see Andy Muirhead selected for the first time in 2018, alongside Matt Lucas and Wharenui Hawera.
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Lolo Fakaosilea, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead