Wallaby Tom Banks has been named to start for the Brumbies in their blockbuster showdown against arch-rivals the NSW Waratahs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The electric fullback has overcome a foot complaint and will make his first appearance in the new Super Rugby AU competition.
The rest of starting XV remains the same as the one that defeated the Melbourne Rebels 31-23 in round one with skipper Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a and James Slipper making up the front row.
After an impressive outing in round one, young lock Darcy Swain again partners Murray Douglas in the second row with Olympian Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini and Pete Samu finalising the forward pack.
Joe Powell and Noah Lolesio will continue to build on their combination in the halves, as will Irae Simone and Tevita Kuridrani in the midfield, who have started all but one game together so far in 2020.
Try scorers against the Rebels, Tom Wright and Andy Muirhead keep their spots on the wings, with Banks wearing the number 15 jersey.
Canberra product Connal McInerney will wear the 16 jersey and will be alongside Scott Sio and Tom Ross to provide the spark as front row replacements.
Vice-captain Lachlan McCaffrey and Will Miller round out the forward finishers, while livewire halfback Issak Fines is in line for his second appearance for the club after making his Super Rugby debut in round one.
Bayley Kuenzle and Mack Hansen round out the matchday 23.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “It’s great to see Tom back in the side, he had such a great start to the year and he’s a really important voice for us out there on the field.”
“Mack was good in his first start for the Brumbies in round one and he’ll provide some real spark for us as a replacement on Saturday night.
“It’s always a tough challenge against the Waratahs and we’re expecting nothing less on Saturday night like it always is and we’ll be ready for that battle at ANZ Stadium.”
Brumbies: Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Murray Douglas, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper. Reserves: Connal McInerney, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Lachlan McCaffrey, Will Miller, Issak Fines, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen.
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