Brumbies Super rugby head coach Dan McKellar has made four changes to the team that played the Waratahs for Saturday’s match against the Reds on Saturday in Canberra at GIO Stadium.
The Brumbies have already won the Australian Super rugby conference so they will have a home quarter-final next weekend.
McKellar has made four changes to starting XV that defeated the Waratahs at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta and promoted a trio of youngsters to the replacements bench.
Scott Sio headlines the inclusions in the forwards as the prop will pack down for his 100th Brumbies Rugby match, leading the team onto the GIO Stadium turf before kick-off, forming a front-row alongside Allan Alaalatoa and Folau Fainga’a.
There are two additions to the back-row with Lachlan McCaffrey rotating with Pete Samu in the number eight jersey, Samu is named amongst the replacements, whilst Jahrome Brown is back in the starting line-up, on the opposite flank to Robb Valetini, in place of Tom Cusack who is rested.
In the backs, livewire utility Tom Wright has earned a start on the left-wing, the dynamic and speedy youngster having already played at centre from where he has scored two tries in his debut season.
Other than the inclusion of Wright, the backline is the same that gave the Waratahs the run around in an expansive opening forty minutes last weekend, with Joe Powell and skipper Christian Lealiifano the fulcrum from which the exciting back division takes its lead.
Irae Simone and Tevita Kuridrani are forming a tough-tackling, physical centre-pairing with Simone having crossed for three tries in successive matches, his latest a score against his former club in Parramatta.
There’s a youthful look to the Brumbies bench with a trio of promising talent given an opportunity amongst the replacements. Scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan is joined by Jordan Jackson-Hope and Len Ikitau with the trio sure to add plenty of pace and enthusiasm to the finishers.
Murray Douglas is also included on the bench, with the front row changes seeing McKellar select Connal McInerney, James Slipper and Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin.
1. Scott SIO 2. Folau FAINGA’A 3. Allan ALAALATOA 4. Rory ARNOLD 5. Sam CARTER 6. Rob VALETINI 7. Jahrome BROWN 8. Lachlan MCCAFFREY 9. Joe POWELL 10. Christian LEALIIFANO 11. Tom WRIGHT 12. Irae SIMONE 13. Tevita KURIDRANI 14. Andy MUIRHEAD 15. Tom BANKS
REPLACEMENTS 16. Connal MCINERNEY 17. James SLIPPER 18. Leslie LEULUAIALII-MAKIN 19. Murray DOUGLAS 20. Pete SAMU 21. Ryan LONERGAN 22. Jordan JACKSON-HOPE 23. Len IKITAU