Super Rugby: Brumbies host the Chiefs at Canberra Stadium on Friday
Last Updated: 24/04/14 12:17pm
The Brumbies host the Chiefs at Canberra Stadium on Friday in a rematch of last season's Grand Final.
On that occasion - in the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton - the Chiefs came out the 27-22 winners to clinch their second title, but back on home soil, the Brumbies will be looking to gain revenge.
To give added spice to the affair, both sides go into this clash heading up their respective conferences - with the Brumbies posting six wins from their eight outings so far, while the Chiefs have won four and drawn twice this campaign.
The game will also be special given it takes place on ANZAC day.
"It is special to be playing a match against an Australian team on ANZAC Day," said Chiefs coach Dave Rennie.
"It is a hugely important day for our two countries."
Wallabies centre Christian Lealiifano will make his first start of the season after being named in the Brumbies team for Friday's clash.
Lealiifano makes a long-awaited return, having missed the first month of the season due to ankle surgery sustained on the Wallabies' November tour to Europe.
He will start at inside centre at the expense of the in-form Pat McCabe, who has dropped to the bench, in a side that features two changes.
"He's a big game player - right through the Lions series, right through the Wallabies season and how he performed at the back end of last Super Rugby season," said Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher.
"Paddy has done exceptionally well. But we need to be working towards finding out our absolute best 15.
"And we think it's important in this game to have a ball player at second receiver."
The only other change to the Brumbies starting XV is the return of lock Sam Carter to the second row after missing two matches with a knee injury.
On the bench, Tom McVerry will make his first Brumbies appearance after being called into the squad following the season-ending injury to David Pocock. Tom Staniforth drops out of the match-day 23.
Opponents the Chiefs field a side with six changes to the starting line-up and four changes to the bench.
Mahonri Schwalger will start at hooker and will be joined in the forwards by Ross Filipo who gets his first start for the year.
Nick Crosswell and Sam Cane will be starting flankers with Liam Messam moving to number eight and Augustine Pulu at half-back.
Tevita Koloamatangi comes onto the bench and is joined by half-back Brad Weber and Dwayne Sweeney, who has re-joined the Chiefs after two years playing in Japan. James Lowe returns from a knee injury to take his place on the bench.
Brumbies: 15 Mogg, 14 Tomane, 13 Kuridrani, 12 Lealiifano, 11 Coleman, 10 Toomua, 9 White; 1 Sio, 2 Moore, 3 Alexander, 4 Fardy, 5 Carter, 6 Smiler, 7 Butler, 8 Mowen (c).
Replacements: 16 Siliva, 17 R Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Whetton, 20 McVerry, 21 Dowsett, 22 A Smith, 23 McCabe.
Chiefs: 15 Marshall, 14 Nanai-Williams, 13 Horrell, 12 Aki, 11 Tikoirotuma, 10 Anscombe, 9 Pulu; 1 Manu, 2 Schwalger, 3 Tameifuna, 4 Filipo, 5 Retallick, 6 Crosswell, 7 Cane, 8 Messam (c).
Replacements: 16 Harris, 17 Mackintosh, 18 Hohneck, 19 Symons, 20 Koloamatangi, 21Weber, 22 Sweeney, 23 Lowe.
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