Fardy leads Brumbies against Reds
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Flank Scott Fardy will lead out the Brumbies for the first time against Conference rivals the Reds at GIO Stadium as one of three changes to the starting XV.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has recalled lock Rory Arnold to the starting side in place of regular skipper Sam Carter, who is rotated out of the line-up. Arnold will partner Blake Enever at lock whilst prop Scott Sio makes a first start of the season with Nic Mayhew reverting to the replacements.
There is one change in the backline as well with former Reds utility Tom Banks handed a Brumbies debut on the left wing with James Dargaville taking a spot amongst the substitutes.
Alongside Dargaville on the bench there is a first appearance of the campaign for loose forward Jarrad Butler, potentially his 50th Brumbies cap, and Andrew Smith returns with Jordan Jackson-Hope dropping out of the matchday 23.
Apart from the trio of newcomers, the Brumbies name the same team that went close to downing the Highlanders in Round Five and, with the team coming off the bye week, they will be determined to get back to winning ways and take a firm command of the Australian Conference.
An exciting front row of Sio, Robbie Abel and Allan Alaalatoa will ensure a solid platform up front with Fardy leading from his usual blindside flank role with Chris Alcock on the opposite flank and Jordan Smiler at No.8.
Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera will conduct play from behind the scrum with the centre pairing of Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani lining up alongside each other for the sixth successive match.
Leading try scorer Henry Speight takes up position on the right wing with speedy fullback Aidan Toua also featuring against his former team.
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Tom Banks, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy (captain), 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 James Dargaville.
Date: Saturday, April 8
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.45 (09.45 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)