Brumbies Super rugby head coach Dan McKellar has named his team to play the Reds on Friday at GIO Stadium and included four Super Rugby first-timers in the side.
Academy product, Noah Lolesio gets a first chance in the number 10 jersey on debut while NRL convert, Solomone Kata will also make his first Super Rugby appearance starting on the wing after a strong performance in the side’s trial match against the Melbourne Rebels in Albury last week.
Returning Canberra-local, Harry Lloyd and young flyhalf, Bayley Kuenzle are in line to make their Super Rugby debuts off the bench with former Rebels and Waratahs backrower, Will Miller and home-again lock, Caderyn Neville selected to represent the Brumbies jersey for the first time.
Towering duo Murray Douglas and Darcy Swain will get the first opportunity to partner in the second row with Allan Alaalatoa to lead the side out at GIO Stadium after being unveiled as the side’s captain last week.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “It’s always a hard decision to pick just 23 players out of a squad that’s been working so hard during preseason.”
“I’m really pleased for the guys that are going to make their debuts on Friday night. Noah and Harry have both come through the Brumbies Academy, while Bayley has been waiting for an opportunity for some time and Sol has been really impressive since arriving in Canberra.
“As a team, we’re really looking forward to opening our season in front of our home supporters, our region has been going through a tough time and we have an opportunity to make them smile on Friday night at GIO Stadium.”
1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Murray Douglas, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Solomone Kata, 15. Tom Banks
Replacements: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. James Slipper, 19. Caderyn Neville, 20. Will Miller, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Andy Muirhead