Reece Hodge has been moved to the bench for the Rebels’ Super Rugby AU Round 2 match against the Reds, while the Force have named three big-name signings in the matchday squad for their competition debut.
Ireland lock forward Devin Toner will miss the rest of the Six Nations Championship after having ankle surgery that will sideline him for two months.
The big second row limped off during last week’s defeat to England in Dublin after aggravating an old issue in the ankle .
He has so far only missed six Test matches since Joe Schmidt took charge of Ireland in 2013, featuring more regularly than any other player under the Kiwi’s stewardship.
“It’s massive,” captain Rory Best said of losing Toner on Friday.
“He’s been a big part of what we’ve created here.
“He’s a great player, and over the last 18 months, two years, he’s probably played some of the best rugby of his career.
“To lose a player like that, and the intellectual property he brings around the lineout … the calmness he has is a great thing to have around the team.”
Toner is the third Ireland lock lost to injury after Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne.
James Ryan and Quinn Roux are due to face Scotland in Edinburgh this weekend, with Ultan Dillane the backup for his first test since November 2017.