The St.George Queensland Reds will welcome back strike weapons Jordan Petaia and Feao Fotuaika for their top-of-the-table clash against the Brumbies on Saturday night.
Petaia will make his much-anticipated return from a dislocated shoulder suffered in Buenos Aires five months ago, while Fotuaika ironically makes his comeback from a foot injury he aggravated in Round 1 against the Brumbies at GIO Stadium back in January this year.
The duo’s inclusion are two-of-eight changes to Queensland’s 23 for this weekend’s clash in the nation’s capital.
Dane Zander will start at loosehead prop with Harry Hoopert set to be sidelined for another four-to-five weeks with an MCL injury suffered against the Force in Round 3.
Angus Blyth has overcome a shoulder injury and re-takes his place in the secondrow alongside Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.
It sees a reshuffle to the backrow as Angus Scott-Young shifts from lock to blindside flanker and captain Liam Wright will wear his familiar number-seven jersey again.
There’s just one change to the backline with Scott Malolua earning his third start of 2020 and first in Vodafone Super Rugby AU at scrumhalf.
Malolua’s elevation means Tate McDermott will provide impact off the bench as a finisher alongside Fraser McReight, plus Petaia and Fotuaika.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The Brumbies in Canberra is always a tough game. They’re in strong form and we look forward to a tough contest.
“It’s exciting to have Jordan and Feao back in the team. They’ve been out since the start of the year and have worked hard to get back in shape. They’re two quality players and we can’t wait to see them out there on Saturday night.
“We’ve also got Angus Blyth back and then there’s fellow lock Ryan Smith who could make his Queensland debut off the bench which is exciting too,” said Thorn.
Queensland play the Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday night at 7:15pm AEST and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Kayo.
The Reds are away to the Waratahs next week in Sydney before returning home to host the Rebels at Suncorp Stadium in Round 7 - tickets go on sale tomorrow.