The Queensland Reds have given Harry Wilson something of a breather for this week’s clash with the Waratahs, choosing to start the young number eight on the bench.
Seru Uru, who has impressed while playing at lock so far this season, will take Wilson’s spot at the back of the scrum, while Ryan Smith will make his first-ever start for the side in the second row.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa also comes into the run-on team, as does Filipo Daugunu, and debutants Kalani Thomas and Sam Wallis have been named on the bench.
The winless Waratahs, meanwhile, will be without two of their top forwards for the Saturday-night encounter following injuries to Lachie Swinton and Jack Dempsey. The Wallabies duo have been ruled out of the match with ankle and foot complaints respectively.
Somewhat mitigating their losses are the returns of prop Angus Bell (injury), centre Izaia Perese (suspension) and number eight Will Harris (injury). Bell has been named on the bench, while Harris and Perese have been thrust straight back into the starting XV. Hugh Sinclair takes Swinton’s place at blindside flanker.
With Perese coming back into outside centre next to Lalakai Foketi, captain Alex Newsome has moved back to his preferred position on the wing, with Jack Maddocks moving to fullback, Mark Nawaqanitawase dropping to the bench and Tepai Moeroa out of the side. There’s a chance of a debut for Max Douglas, who’ll take his place on the bench.
In the round’s early game, the Brumbies have got some welcome news on the injury front with James Slipper cleared to line up in the front row against the Force. However, he’ll start on the tighthead side of the scrum instead of his preferred position at loosehead, with Harry Lloyd taking the number one jersey.
Jahrome Hughes replaces injured stand-in skipper Tom Cusack at openside flanker, and scrumhalf Nic White will captain the Brumbies for the third time in his career.
With plenty of injuries in the squad, Dan McKellar has named three potential debutants on the bench: props Sefo Kautai and Fred Kaihea, and back-rower Rory Scott.
The Force are also dealing with injuries of their own. Irish fullback Rob Kearney and Kiwi utility back Richard Kahui are both sidelined, replaced in the XV by Jack McGregor and Marcel Brache respectively.
English signing Jordan Olowofela has been included among the reserves for what will be his Force debut, and Jono Lance has also been named on the bench. The rest of the matchday squad remains unchanged from the one which pushed the Reds in Round 5.
Friday, 7:45pm (AEDT), GIO Stadium
(1-15): Harry Lloyd, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White (c), Noah Lolesio, Mack Hansen, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Banks
Bench: Lachlan Lonergan, Fred Kauhea, Sefo Kautai, James Tucker, Rory Scott, Ryan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa
(1-15): Tom Robertson, Feleti Kaitu’u, Greg Holmes, Jeremy Thrush, Sitaleki Timani, Fergus Lee Warner, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander (c), Tomas Cubelli, Jake McIntrye, Marcel Brache, Henry Taefu, Tevita Kuridrani, Byron Ralston, Jack McGregor
Reserves: Jack Winchester, Angus Wagner, Santiago Medrano, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Ian Prior, Jono Lance, Jordan Olowofela
Saturday, 7:45pm (AEDT), Stadium Australia
(1-15): Harry Johnson-Holmes, David Porecki, Tetara Faulkner, Sam Wykes, Sam Caird, Hugh Sinclair, Carlo Tizzano, Will Harris, Jack Grant, Will Harrison, James Ramm, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, Alex Newsome (c), Jack Maddocks
Bench: Tom Horton, Angus Bell, Darcy Breen, Jeremy Williams, Max Douglas, Henry Robertson, Tane Edmed, Mark Nawaqanitawase
(1-15): Dane Zander, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Seru Uru, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell
Bench: Alex Mafi, Richie Asiata, Zane Nonggorr, Harry Wilson, Sam Wallis, Kalani Thomas, Hamish Stewart, Bryce Hegarty