The Plus500 Brumbies have made two changes to the starting side for their round six clash against the Melbourne Rebels at Leichhardt Oval in NSW tomorrow night, Friday 7 August.
They welcome back vice-captain Tom Cusack and winger Andy Muirhead to the run-on side for the first time since they split the Man of the Match honours in round three against the NSW Waratahs. Their inclusions see Will Miller slide to the bench, while Tom Wright has dropped out of the 23-man squad.
For the third straight week, Wallabies trio Scott Sio, Folau Fainga’a and Allan Alaaaltoa make up the front row, with the impressive young lock pairing of Darcy Swain and Nick Frost completing the tight five.
Cusack is joined by Rob Valetini and Pete Samu in the loose forwards, the latter two starting every game so far in 2020.
The halves see fellow vice-captain Joe Powell partner with Bayley Kuenzle for the third straight week with Irae Simone and Tevita Kuridrani running the midfield.
Muirhead will be joined in the back three by try-scoring powerhouse Solomone Kata and the electric Tom Banks at fullback.
Former Australian Under-20s number nine Ryan Lonergan will make his first appearance in the new competition as the replacement scrumhalf, with last week’s hero Mack Hansen and Len Ikitau rounding out the matchday 23.
Plus500 Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “It’s great to be able to call on the experience of Tom and Andy and have them slot back into the starting side this week.
“We’ve got depth and plenty of confidence across the whole squad and to be able to rotate a few bodies after a really physical game against the Reds last week is a positive for us.
“The side has prepared really well ahead of the six-day turnaround and we’ll travel up to Leichhardt excited by the challenge of taking on a tough Rebels side tomorrow night.”
The previous meeting between the sides was in the first week of the new look Super Rugby AU competition, with the Brumbies recording a hard-fought 31-23 victory at GIO Stadium Canberra.
The Brumbies are coming off a last gasp victory over the Queensland Reds, with Mack Hansen booting a penalty goal after the siren to seal a 22-20 victory and will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record since the competition resumed.
|1||Scott Sio||1||Cameron Orr|
|2||Folau Fainga’a||2||Jordan Uelese|
|3||Allan Alaalatoa (C)||3||Jermaine Ainsley|
|4||Darcy Swain||4||Matt Philip|
|5||Nick Frost||5||Trevor Hosea|
|6||Rob Valetini||6||Josh Kemeny|
|7||Tom Cusack||7||Brad Wilkin|
|8||Pete Samu||8||Isi Naisarani|
|9||Joe Powell||9||Frank Lomani|
|10||Bayley Kuenzle||10||Andrew Deegan|
|11||Andy Muirhead||11||Marika Koroibete|
|12||Irae Simone||12||Matt To’omua (C)|
|13||Tevita Kuridrani||13||Campbell Magnay|
|14||Solomone Kata||14||Andrew Kellaway|
|15||Tom Banks||15||Reece Hodge|
|16||Connal McInerney||16||Efitusi Ma’afu|
|17||Harry Lloyd||17||Jacobus Eloff|
|18||Tom Ross||18||Vaiilli Fa’amausili|
|19||Will Miller||19||Michael Stolberg|
|20||Ben Hyne||20||Richard Hardwick|
|21||Ryan Lonergan||21||Rob Leota|
|22||Mack Hansen||22||James Tuttle|
|23||Len Ikitau||23||Billy Meakes|