The 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 makes his comeback from a foot injury he aggravated in Round 1 of the suspended Super Rugby season against the Brumbies 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 loose head 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 second row alongside Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.
It sees a reshuffle to the back row 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 back line 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.
“The Brumbies in Canberra is always a tough game,” said Reds head coach Brad Thorn.
“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.”
Queensland play the Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday night at 7:15pm AEST.
St.George Queensland Reds v Brumbies – GIO Stadium, Canberra on 1 August at 7:15pm AEST
1. Dane Zander – Norths
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank
3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
4. Angus Blyth – Bond University
5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Souths
6. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
7. Liam Wright – Easts ©
8. Harry Wilson – Brothers
9. Scott Malolua – GPS
10. James O’Connor – Brothers
11. Filipo Daugunu – Wests
12. Hamish Stewart – Brothers
13. Hunter Paisami – Wests
14. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Souths
15. Jock Campbell – University of Queensland
16. Alex Mafi – Bond University
17. Feao Fotuaika – GPS
18. Jack Straker – GPS
19. Ryan Smith* – Brothers
20. Fraser McReight – Brothers
21. Tate McDermott – University of Queensland
22. Bryce Hegarty – GPS
23. Jordan Petaia – Wests