The teams for Round 5 of Super Rugby AU have been announced, with few major changes across the four sides in action this week.
The Waratahs have largely kept the same side which went down in a narrow defeat to the Force two weeks ago, sticking with Mark Nawaqanitawase at fullback and Jack Maddocks on the wing after the former put in one of his best Super Rugby performances wearing the number 15.
The only change to the Tahs’ starting XV comes in the front row, where props Harry Johnson-Holmes and Tetera Faulkner have swapped sides.
Lalakai Foketi is one of four additions to the bench, alongside George Francis, Darcy Breen and Sam Wykes.
The Rebels, who are playing their first game at home in more than a year, welcome back Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese to their side via the reserves, with Rob Leota and Matt Gibbon also added to the pine. Steve Cummins has been promoted to the run-on team following Ross Haylett-Petty’s three-week suspension.
In the Saturday game, the Western Force have made a significant reshuffle of their line-up. Greg Holmes starts in his 150th Super Rugby game, swapping places with Argentinian prop Santiago Medrano. Sitaleki Timani and Henry Taefu have also been added to the XV, and Richard Kahui moves to the wing with Toni Pulu out injured and Marcel Brache shifting to the reserves.
Tim Anstee, who put in a star performance against the Waratahs in Round 3, has been named on the bench after missing last week with injury.
For the Reds, Brad Thorn has persisted with the midfield combination of Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia even as Hamish Stewart returns to the side after missing last week’s win over the Brumbies due to disciplinary issues. He comes onto the bench for Josh Flook, while lightning-fast winger Ilaisa Droasese replaces Filipo Daugunu.
Kalani Thomas gets a run as the back-up scrumhalf in place of Moses Sorovi.
Friday, 7:45pm (AEDT), AAMI Park
(1-15): Cabous Eloff, James Hanson, Pone Faamausili, Steve Cummins, Trevor Hosea, Joshua Kemeny, Richard Hardwick, Michael Wells, Joe Powell, Matt To’omua (c), Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Stacey Ili, Lachie Anderson, Tom Pincus
Bench: Jordan Uelese, Matt Gibbon, Lucio Sordoni, Tom Nowlan, Rob Leota, James Tuttle, Glen Vaihu, Frank Lomani
(1-15): Harry Johnson-Holmes, David Porecki, Tetera Faulkner, Hugh Sinclair, Sam Caird, Lachie Swinton, Carlo Tizzano, Jack Dempsey, Jack Grant, Will Harrison, James Ramm, Tepai Moeroa, Alex Newsome (c), Jack Maddocks, Mark Nawaqanitawase
Bench: Tom Horton, George Francis, Darcy Breen, Sam Wykes, Jeremy Williams, Henry Robertson, Tane Edmed, Lalakai Foketi
Saturday, 7:45pm (AEDT), Suncorp Stadium
(1-15): Dane Zander, Alex Mafi, Taniela Tupou, Angus Blyth, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Ilaisa Droasese, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell
Bench: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Harry Hoopert, Zane Nonggorr, Ryan Smith, Seru Uru, Kalani Thomas, Hamish Stewart, Bryce Hegarty
(1-15): Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu’u, Greg Holmes, Jeremy Thrush, Sitaleki Timani, Fergus Lee-Warner, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander (c), Tomas Cubelli, Jake McIntyre, Richard Kahui, Henry Taefu, Tevita Kuridrani, Byron Ralston, Robert Kearney
Bench: Jack Winchester, Angus Wagner, Santiago Medrano, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Ian Prior, Jack McGregor, Marcel Brache