Brumbies make four changes, Wright returns, Tahs gun son makes debut

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar has made four changes to his starting line-up for the top-ranked team’s game against the Queensland Reds on Friday night at GIO Stadium, while the Waratahs have named the son of former Wallaby David Wilson for a potential debut.

The Reds welcome back captain Liam Wright, who will be on the bench for the first game since suffering a first-round injury.

The Wallabies back James Slipper initially as a loose prop for the Brumbies with Folau Fainga’a returning as the starting hooker.

Darcy Swain is in the lock alongside Nick Frost, with Tom Hooper earning a place in the finishers following an impressive outing on the race team last time out.

Andy Muirhead returns to the left flank after a fourth-round refresher with Tom Wright on the right wing and Tom Banks at fullback completing the Brumbies’ starting selection.

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar said: “We are happy with where we are at this stage of the season, but we know Friday night will be our biggest challenge so far.

“The Reds are a good team; we have a lot of respect for what they do, and I think the rivalry we’ve created with them over the past two years is great for Australian rugby.

Wright, who suffered a shoulder injury in the Reds’ first-round win over the Melbourne Rebels, will co-captain the team along with backrower Fraser McReight.

Dane Zander will start as a loose prop in the only change to the starting XV since last weekend’s win over Fijian Drua, while Isaac Henry will also return from a foot injury as a finisher.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “We have developed a good rivalry with the Brumbies.

“They are top of the table and play good rugby. We are looking forward to a tough game there in Canberra.

Brett McKay and Harry Jones are joined by guest Iain Payten to preview this week’s Super Rugby round

“It’s great to have Liam Wright and Isaac Henry available for selection. They’ve worked hard to overcome their injuries and they’ll do their job as finishers this week,” Thorn said.

NSW Waratahs head coach Darren Coleman has made two changes to his starting XV which beat the Force at Leichhardt Oval for their game against the Rebels.

David Porecki returns to the starting squad after recovering from a groin injury and lines up alongside Angus Bell and Harry Johnson-Holmes in the front row. Bell was immense with the ball in hand for the Waratahs making the 3rd most races in the competition (45).

Geoff Cridge returns to the starting squad after making a successful comeback from his ankle injury via the bench last weekend and joins substitute skipper Jed Holloway in second.

Charlie Gamble, Hugh Sinclair and Will Harris once again form an exciting back row.

Jack Grant retains the new jersey in the absence of skipper Jake Gordon (Hamstring) and his partners Ben Donaldson in the half-time.

The Force have made six changes to their starting XV to take on Fijian Drua.

In the front row, props Harrison Lloyd and Greg Holmes are making their first starts of the season. Wallaby Tom Robertson is out with an injury suffered against the NSW Waratahs in the fourth leg and Argentina international Santiago Medrano is on the bench.

Club stalwart Brynard Stander starts at number eight, with Tim Anstee dropping to the bench. Stander, who will turn 70and Appearance in Super Rugby for the Force this weekend, brings plethora of experience and toughness to the breakdown.

Ian Prior and Jake McIntyre were instrumental in the Force’s second-half fightback last week and were named starter, scrum-half and fly-half respectively. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and ReesjanPasitoa will be looking to make an impact off the bench on Saturday.

Former All Black Richard Kahui returns to the starting XV at outside center alongside Bayley Kuenzle at inside center.

Speedster Byron Ralston is also making his first start of the campaign, with the winger appointed at 14. Ralston scored the game-sealing try in the Round 2 win over the Melbourne Rebels in his other appearance this season.

Promising young prop Bo Abra is set to make his Western Force and Super Rugby debut against Drua. The former Junior Wallabies representative was named on the bench for the Round 6 clash.

Three local WA players make the squad, with Ollie Callan retaining his starting position at flanker, while fellow Force Pathway graduates Jackson Pugh and Grason Makara are part of Round 23.

Super Rugby Pacific Round 5 Teams (ALL TIMES AEDT)

Brumbies vs. Reds

Friday, 7:45 p.m., AAMI Park, Melbourne


1. James Slipper, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Nick Frost, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Jahrome Brown, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Nic White, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Andy Muirhead, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Tom Wright, 15. Tom Banks.

Reserves: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Sefo Kautai, 19. Tom Hooper, 20. Luke Reimer, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 23. Jesse Mogg.


1. Dane Zander, 2. Josh Nasser, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Ryan Smith, 5..Angus Blyth, 6. Seru Uru, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Kalani Thomas, 10. James O ‘Connor, 11. Josh Flook, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Jock Campbell, 15. Jordan Petaia.

Reserves: 16. Matt Faessler, 17. Harry Hoopert, 18. Feao Fotuaika, 19. Connor Vest, 20. Liam Wright, Tualima, 21. Spencer Jeans, 22. Lawson Creighton, 23. Isaac Henry.

Fiji Drua vs Force

Saturday, 2.35 p.m., GIO Stadium

Fijian Drua:

1. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, 2. Mesulame Dolokoto, 3. Samuela Tawake, 4. Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, 5. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 6. Joseva Tamani, 7. Vilive Miramira, 8. Nemani Nagusa (c), 9. Frank Lomani, 10 , Teti Tela, 11. Vinaya Habosi, 12. Kalaveti Ravouvou, 13. Apisalome Vota, 14. Selesitino Ravutaumada, 15. Jona Mataiciwa

Reserves: 16. Zuriel Togiatama, 17. Jone Koroiduadua, 18. Manasa Saulo, 19. Chris Minimbi, 20. Kitione Salawa, 21. Peni Matawali, 22. Napolioni Bolaca, 23. Onisi Ratave

To obligate

1.Harrison Lloyd, 2. Feleti Kaitu’u (c), 3. Greg Holmes, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Izack Rodda, 6. Fergus Lee-Warner, 7. Ollie Callan, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Forward 10. Jake McIntyre, 11. Manasa Mataele, 12. Bayley Kuenzle, 13. Ricahrd Kahui, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jake Strachan.

Reserves: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Bo Abra, 18. Santiago Medrano, 19. Jackson Pugh, 20. Tim Anstee, 21. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Grason Makara.

Moana Pasifika vs. Chiefs

Saturday, 5:05 p.m., Mt Smart Stadium

Moana Pasifika

1. Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 2. Luteru Tolai, 3. Sekope Kepu (c), 4. Mike McKee, 5. Sam Slade, 6. Sione Tu’ipulotu, 7. Solomone Funaki, 8. Henry Time-Stowers, 9. Jonathan Taumateine, 10.Christian Leali’ifano, 11.Neria Foma’i, 12. Danny Toala, 13. Levi Aumua 14. Tima Fainga’anuku, 15. William Havili.

Reserves: 16. Samiuela Moli, 17. Taukiha’amea Kolomatagi, 18. Joe Apikotoa, 19. Alex McRobbie, 20. Josh Kaifa, 21. Ereatara Enari, 22. Lincoln McClutchie, 23. Beautiful Inis.


1. Ollie Norris, 2. Bradley Slater, 3. Sione Mafileo, 4. Laghlan McWhannell, 5 Brodie Retallick, 6. Tupou Vaa’i, 7. Hamilton Burr, 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 9. Brad Weber (c), 10. Bryn Gatland, 11. Jonah Loew, 12. Rameka Poihipi, 13. Alex Nankivell, 14. Emoni Narawa, 15. Kaleb Trask.

Reserves: 16. Tyrone Thompson, 17. Atu Moli, 18. Solomone Tukuafu, 19. Sampipeni Finau, 20. Mitch Brown, 21. Rivez Reihana, 22. Josh Ioane, 23. Quinn Tupaea.

Waratahs versus rebels

Saturday, 7:45 p.m., Sydney Cricket Ground


1. Angus Bell, 2. Davie Porecki, 3. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4. Jed Holloway, 5. Geoff Cridge, 6. Hugh Sinclair, 7. Charles Gamble, 8. Will Harris, 9. JJack Grant (c), 10. Ben Donaldson, 11. Alex Newsome, 12. Lalakai Foketi, 13. Izaia Perese, 14. Dylan Pietsch, 15. Will Harrison.

Reserves: 16. Tom Horton, 17. Te Tera Faulkner, 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Langi Gleeson, 20. Carlo Tizzano, 21 Teddy Wilson, 22. Jamie Roberts, 23. Mark Nawaqanitawase.


1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Cabous Eboff, 4. Matt Philip, 5. Josh Canham, 6. Michael Wells (c), 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Tamati Ioane, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Matt To’omua, 11. Glen Vaihu, 12. Raymond Nu’u, 13. Young Tonumaipea, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 15. Reece Hodge.

Reserves: 16. Efi Ma’afu, 17. Matt Gibbon, 18. Rhys Van Nek, 19. Sam Wallis, 20. Brad Wilkin, 21. James Tuttle, 22. Carter Gordon, 23. Stacey Ili.

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