Queensland Super rugby team the Brumbies have named a team with five changes to the starting side for Sunday’s match against the the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium.
After Taniela Tupou and Izack Rodda were rested last round, the Wallabies duo make their return this weekend.
Prop Feao Fotuaika will partner Tupou in the starting front-row following his standout performance off the bench in Tokyo.
Tate McDermott earns his first start at scrumhalf this year, while Bryce Hegarty has overcome a rib injury and reclaims the number 10 jersey.
After coming on in the 71st minute and making an immediate impact against the Sunwolves, Filipo Daugunu will start on the wing, seeing Chris Feauai-Sautia shift to outside centre and skipper Samu Kerevi back at 12.
There are six changes to the reserves, with Ruan Smith, Moses Sorovi, Duncan Paia’aua and Isaac Lucas all on the bench this week, alongside the returning Izack Rodda.
After being named in the Reds 23 against the Highlanders in Round 2, backrower Fraser McReight has been recalled and could potentially make his Queensland and Super Rugby debut on Sunday.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “Our guys showed great belief to fight back and get the win last week, but it’s important we keep the momentum going. After a tough opening draw, we’ve now got three-straight home games and must make the most of it.
“Last week was a pre-determined rest week for Taniela and Izack. They both bring good experience and it’s great to have them back.
“Taniela joins Feao in the front row. Feao’s a hard-hitter and is very versatile, switching back to loosehead prop to accommodate Nela’s return.
“We’ve kept the same second and backrow from last week and rewarded those guys there with another start. It’s good to have someone of Izack’s quality who can come on and will do his job for us.
“Tate has been really good in the past four matches off the bench. He showed that last week when he pounced on that ball from Hocko’s charge down to score. He’s been working hard at training and deserves his spot in the starting side.
“Filipo also gets his opportunity to start. He showed great qualities when he came on in the final nine minutes last week. His line-break off the restart got us downfield and we ended up getting the penalty which allowed Hamish to kick that goal.
“We decided to rest Bryce for the Japan trip due to a rib injury. He’s been training hard this week and has recovered well. With Bryce back at 10, Isaac moves to the bench. It was a great experience for him starting at flyhalf against the Sunwolves. He took plenty of learnings from that game and continues to grow as a footballer,” said Thorn.
15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Harry Hockings, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Feao Fotuaika
Replacements: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 16 Harry Hooper, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Isaac Lucas