Having sealed a home quarter-final to be played next weekend, Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar has made four changes to his starting XV to face the Reds in Canberra on Saturday.
Fittingly, as the Brumbies celebrate the culture and heritage of their Pasifika Islands players with their unique jersey, Scott Sio headlines the inclusions in the forwards as the prop will pack down for his 100th Brumbies 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 Rob 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 40 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.
Scrum-half 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.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
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
Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: GIO Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 local (10:45 BST, 09:45 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)