Veteran hooker Stephen Moore returns to captain the Brumbies for Saturday's Australian derby with the Rebels in Melbourne.
The Rebels match is Moore’s first start since rupturing his ACL while captaining the Wallabies in the first Test against France last year.
Moore has already made two appearances from the bench for the Brumbies in 2015. But his return to the starting side will provide experience to the Brumbies pack as it moves into a block of Australian derbies.
Both of Saturday’s combatants have made solid starts to the 2015 season. The Rebels and Brumbies sit on one-win a piece, the Melbournians travelling to Christchurch to knock over the Crusaders while the ACT-based side pummelled the Reds in Canberra two weeks ago.
In one of the tightest domestic fights to occur since the expansion of the Super Rugby competition, all Australian teams are level on one win and a loss.
The derbies shape as crucial battle grounds in 2015 and head coach Stephen Larkham said he was confident the Brumbies could clinch a win on the road in Melbourne.
“They’re a strong side, we’ve seen the Rebels shake up both of last year’s finalists in the first two weeks and there’s no doubt we’ll need to be at our best to get the job done on Saturday,” he said.
With Blake Enever and Jesse Mogg sliding onto the bench, Sean Doyle and Lausii Taliauli move out of the match day 23.
The Brumbies have a 50 per cent win rate against the Rebels in Melbourne having won in 2012 and 2013 but fallen in 2011 and 2014. They will leave Canberra for Melbourne on Friday morning.
Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 James Dargaville, 23 Jesse Mogg.
Date: Saturday 28 February
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19:40 local (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)