The squads are in, and there are several changes for both the Rebels and the Brumbies ahead of their clash at AAMI Park on Friday night.
For the home team, the Rebels bring back Jason Woodward to fullback after he was given a week off to recover from a knee injury he suffered against the Crusaders; Angus Roberts moves to the bench in his place. Tom Kingston will start on the wing after Lachie Mitchell was ruled out for the season after fracturing his knee last week.
Both props have been replaced, with "concussion" being the keyword for the Melbourne front-rowers over the last fortnight. Toby Smith has been omitted with one -- to be replaced by Max Lahiff at loosehead -- while Laurie Weeks will come back into the squad after suffering one a fortnight ago; Alo-Emile drops to the bench. Colby Fainga'a will swap with Sean McMahon on the bench at blindside flanker.
Perhaps the most interesting change made from coach Tony McGahan is the selection of young scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker. The fiery redhead makes his first appearance this season in place of veteran Luke Burgess. He'll partner up with fellow youngster Bryce Hegarty in the halves.
As for the Brumbies, just the one change in the starting fifteen with Tevita Kuridrani returning to his usual centre position in place of Andrew Smith, while Christian Leali'ifano returns to the team via the bench.
REBELS: 1. Lahiff, 2. Leafa, 3. Weeks, 4. Pyle, 5. Jones, 6. Fainga'a, 7. Fuglistaller, 8. Higginbotham (c), 9. Stirzaker, 10. Hegarty, 11. English, 12. Inman, 13. Ellison, 14. Kingston, 15. Woodward
Replacements: 16. Horie, 17. Alo-Emilie, 18. Ah-Nau, 19. Neville, 20. McMahon, 21. Burgess, 22. Sa'u, 23. Roberts
BRUMBIES: 1. JP Smith, 2. Moore, 3. Alexander, 4. Fardy, 5. Carter, 6. Smiler, 7. Butler, 8. Mowen (c), 9. White, 10. Toomua, 11. Coleman, 12. McCabe, 13. Kuridrani, 14. Tomane, 15. Mogg
Replacements: 16. Siliva, 17. R Smith, 18. Murphy, 19. Whetton, 20. McCaffrey, 21. Hoffmann, 22. A Smith, 23. Leali'ifano
There have been a lot of changes made by Tony McGahan this week. Has he might the right calls? And how will Tevita Kuridrani's return to the starting XV impact the Brumbies?
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