Matt To’omua has been moved to the centres for the Rebels’ Round 6 Super Rugby AU clash with the Brumbies.
The frontrunner for the Wallabies no.10 jersey at the start of the year, To’omua has started all four games this season at flyhalf for Melbourne so far but will move into midfield to make way for Andrew Deegan.
That means the Rebels will field a completely different halves pairing to the one which ran out against the Force last week, with Frank Lomani starting at no.9 for the injured Ryan Louwrens. Louwrens has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured bicep, with James Tuttle making his Super Rugby return from the bench in his place.
Campbell Magnay returns to the no.13 jersey, while Reece Hodge will start at fullback once again with captain Dane Haylett-Petty still out injured.
Dave Wessels has also reshuffled his forward pack, moving Matt Philip back into the run-on side, recalling Josh Kemeny at blindside flanker, giving openside Brad Wilkin his first-ever start in a Super Rugby game, and omitting Esei Ha’angana.
While the Rebels have mixed things up, their opponents have gone with a relatively settled side for Friday night. Tom Wright has been rested by Dan McKellar, Andy Muirhead taking his place on the wing, while Tom Cusak will start at no.7. Ryan Lonergan makes his return from an ankle injury on the bench.
The Reds have made just one change to their XV for Saturday night’s derby against the Waratahs. Jordan Petaia will make his first start since his shoulder injury earlier in the year, after playing significant minutes last week in Canberra. He replaces Chris Feauai-Sautia on the wing, with Hunter Paisami remaining in Petaia’s favoured no.13 jersey.
The Waratahs welcome back Lalakai Foketi to their run-on side, replacing Joey Walton at outside centre, and Jake Gordon is back in the starting XV after coming off the bench in Round 4. Angus Bell has been named on the bench after a back injury, while Walton has taken Mark Nawaqanitawase’s place among the reserves.
Friday, 7:05pm, Leichhardt Oval
1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Jermaine Ainsley, 4. Matt Philip, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Josh Kemeny, 7. Brad Wilkin, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Andrew Deegan, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Matt To’omua (c), 13. Campbell Magnay 14. Andrew Kellaway, 15. Reece Hodge
Bench: 16. Efitusi Ma’afu, 17. Jacobus Eloff, 18. Vaiilli Fa’amausili, 19. Michael Stolberg, 20. Richard Hardwick, 21. Rob Leota, 22. James Tuttle, 23. Billy Meakes
1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Nick Frost, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Bayley Kuenzle, 11. Andy Muirhead, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Solomone Kata, 15. Tom Banks
Bench: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Will Miller, 20. Ben Hyne, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Mack Hansen, 23. Len Ikitau
Saturday, 7:15pm, SCG
1. Tom Robertson, 2. Tom Horton, 3. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4. Ned Hanigan, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Lachie Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Jake Gordon, 10. Will Harrison, 11. Alex Newsome, 12. Karmichael Hunt, 13. Lalakai Foketi, 14. James Ramm, 15. Jack Maddocks
Bench: 16. Andrew Tuala, 17. Angus Bell, 18. Tetera Faulkner, 19. Tom Staniforth/Jed Holloway, 20. Hugh Sinclair, 21. Mitch Short, 22. Joey Walton, 23. Ben Donaldson
1. Dane Zander, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Angus Blyth, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Angus Scott-Young, 7. Liam Wright, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Scott Malolua, 10. James O’Connor, 11. Filipo Daugunu, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Jock Campbell
Bench: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Jack Straker, 18. Zane Nonggorr, 19. Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20. Fraser McReight, 21. Tate McDermott, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Josh Flook