Brumbies coach Jake White has handed Peter Kimlin a place in his starting XV for Saturday’s crunch derby against the Reds at Canberra Stadium
Kimlin has been named at blindside flanker with captain Ben Mowen moving back to his preferred number eight role in place of rested in-form number eight Fotu Aueluathe.
Auelua suffered a head knock during the Brumbies’ 37-25 win over the Hurricanes in Wellington last Friday.
The inclusion of Kimlin gives the Brumbies added line-out presence against a Reds outfit that will contain at least three primary jumpers in captain James Horwill, Rob Simmons and Scott Higginbotham.
“Kimo adds a little bit more as far as experience and height at the line-out are concerned, and he’s been the number one six flanker,” said White.
“So Benny Mowen moves back to the back of the scrum and we will work from there.”
In other changes, Nic White returns to start at scrum-half in place of Ian Prior as part of the Brumbies’ rotation policy.
The Reds currently sit eight points adrift of the Brumbies (44) in the Australian conference, but with a bye next weekend, a win away from home would be worth eight points for the Queenslanders.
“We’re treating it exactly like a final,” said White.
“There’s a lot at stake - we can move another four points ahead and they have the bye next week. It is massive - we want to have a good crack to finish as high as we can.
“If you want to play in the finals you have to be able to beat the Reds at home.”
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Nic White; 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Leon Power, 19 Ita Vaea, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Tevita Kuridrani
Date: Saturday, 26 May
Venue: Canberra Stadium,
Kick-off: 19.40 (08:40 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh