Tom Wright will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby AU season this week after being named in the Brumbies’ team to take on the Waratahs on Friday night.
Wright was hobbled by a knee injury in the lead-up to Round 1 but has been passed fit to play on Good Friday and thrust straight back into Dan McKellar’s starting XV.
The Canberrans also welcome back Tom Cusack from a shoulder injury, and he comes into the run-on side for Jahrome Brown, who drops out of the matchday squad.
Lock Nick Frost and flyhalf Bayley Kuenzle are the two other Brumby additions for this weekend. Frost replaces Darcy Swain in the second row, while Kuenzle comes onto the bench for Reesjan Pasitoa.
While Waratahs fans might be dreading the thought of facing a Brumbies squad bolstered by the returns of Wright and Cusack following what could gently be described as a tumultuous week for the club, there is at least some good news for the New South Welshmen on the injury front.
Captain Jake Gordon, whose syndesmosis injury forced him from the field in Round 1 and has been sidelined ever since, will make his return on Friday night in the number nine jersey.
In the second match of the round, Brad Thorn has pushed Jordan Petaia onto the wing and reverted to the midfield pairing of Hamish Stewart and Hunter Paisami for the Reds’ trip to Melbourne.
Those aren’t the only changes to the Queensland backline, with Bryce Hegarty starting at fullback, Jock Campbell shifting to the wing and Filipo Daugunu dropping to the bench, while Suliasi Vunivalu is out injured with hamstring trouble.
Seru Uru and Harry Wilson have swapped positions after the latter was given a start from the reserves last game.
The Rebels have named a more settled team, although Dave Wessels will need to trim two names from what is an extended bench for Saturday night’s clash.
Hooker Jordan Uelese has been promoted to the starting side after returning from injury last time out, with James Hanson moving back to the bench.
Friday, 7:45pm (AEDT), SCG
(1-15): Angus Bell, David Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jeremy Williams, Max Douglas, Hugh Sinclair, Carlo Tizzano, Will Harris, Jake Gordon (c), Will Harrison, James Ramm, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks
Bench: Tom Horton, Tetera Faulkner, Darcy Breen, Michael Wood, Charlie Gamble, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Mark Nawaqanitawase
In: Michael Wood, Charlie Gamble, Jake Gordon
Out: Sam Caird, Sam Wykes, Henry Robertson
(1-15): Harry Lloyd, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Tom Cusack, Pete Samu, Nic White (c), Noah Lolesio, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks
Bench: Lachlan Lonergan, Fred Kaihea, Sefo Kautai, James Tucker, Rory Scott, Ryan Lonergan, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen
In: Nick Frost, Tom Cusack, Tom Wright, Bayley Kuenzle
Out: Darcy Swain, Jahrome Brown, Reesjan Pasitoa, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa
Saturday, 7:45pm (AEDT), AAMI Park
(1-15): Cabous Eloff, Jordan Uelese, Pone Fa’amausili, Steve Cummins, Trevor Hosea, Joshua Kemeny, Richard Hardwick, Michael Wells, Joe Powell, Matt To’omua (c), Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Stacey Ili, Frank Lomani, Tom Pincus
Bench: James Hanson, Matt Gibbon, Albert Anae, Tom Nowlan, Rob Leota, James Tuttle, Lewis Holland, Jeral Skelton, Lucio Sordoni, Glen Vaihu (two to omit)
In: Albert Anae, Lewis Holland, Jeral Skelton
Out: Lachie Anderson
(1-15): Feao Fotuaika, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor (c), Jock Campbell, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Bryce Hegarty
Bench: Alex Mafi, Richie Asiata, Zane Nonggorr, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Kalani Thomas, Josh Flook, Filipo Daugunu
In: Feao Fotuaika, Angus Blyth, Josh Flook
Out: Dane Zander, Suliasi Vunivalu, Sam Wallis