The squads are in for Super Rugby AU Round 3, and there’s good news for Brumbies fans ahead of their clash with the Waratahs.
Star fullback Tom Banks has recovered from the foot stress fractures which kept him out of Round 1, but the rest of the matchday 23 from that win over the Rebels remains unchanged.
The Waratahs, meanwhile, have shuffled around their bench and starting XV after last week’s scare against the Force. Karmichael Hunt’s excellent second-half performance has earnt him a starting gig at inside centre, pushing Joey Walton to 13, Alex Newsome to the wing and Mark Nawaqanitawase to the bench.
Nawaqanitawase is one of three of last year’s Junior Wallabies to lose their starting spot this week, with prop Angus Bell and number 8 Will Harris also shifted to the bench. Tom Robertson comes into the starting front row for Bell after a long layoff for a back injury, while Jack Dempsey replaces Harris at the back of the scrum.
Rob Penney has also changed his starting hooker, bringing Tom Horton into the XV for Robbie Abel, who will come off the bench.
In the other match of the round, the Reds will be sorely tested in the second row after losing Angus Blyth to a shoulder injury. Blyth’s absence means Brad Thorn has named Angus Scott-Young alongside Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, giving the Queenslanders two regular flankers in the second row, although Salakaia-Loto has been a constant presence at lock in Super Rugby AU.
Jock Campbell has been moved to fullback for Friday night’s encounter with the Force, pushing Bryce Hegarty to the reserves and allowing Chris Feasuai-Sautia to take a starting place on the wing.
The Force have made just one change to their 23, naming the same XV which took it to the Waratahs last week and bringing in lock Ollie Atkins for Johan Bardoul on the bench.
7:05pm (AEST), Suncorp Stadium, Friday, July 17
1. Harry Hoopert, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Angus Scott-Young, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Liam Wright (c), 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O’Connor, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Chris Feauia-Sautia, 15. Jock Campbell
Bench: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Dane Zander, 18. Jack Straker, 19. Ryan Smith, 20. Tuaina Taii Tualima, 21. Scott Malolua, 22. Josh Flook, 23. Bryce Hegarty
1. Angus Wagner, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Fergus Lee-Warner, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Tevin Ferris, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Prior (c), 10. Jono Lance, 11. Brad Lacey, 12. Nick Jooste, 13. Marcel Brache, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor
Bench: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Greg Holmes, 19. Ollie Atkins, 20. Ollie Callan, 21. Jacob Abel, 22. Henry Taefu, 23. Kyle Godwin
7:15pm (AEST), SCG, Saturday, July 18
1. Tom Robertson, 2. Tom Horton, 3. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4. Ned Hanigan, 5. Rob Simmons (C), 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Mitch Short, 10. Will Harrison, 11. Alex Newsome (VC), 12. Karmichael Hunt, 13. Joey Walton, 14. James Ramm, 15. Jack Maddocks
Bench: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Angus Bell, 19. Tom Staniforth, 20. Will Harris, 21. Michael McDonald, 22. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 23. Ben Donaldson
1. James Slipper , 2. Folau Fainga’a , 3. Allan Alaalatoa , 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Murray Douglas, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11.Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks
Bench: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Scott Sio , 18. Tom Ross, 19. Locky McCaffrey, 20. Will Miller, 21. Issak Fines, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Mack Hansen