Super Rugby AU round 6 sees the competition enter return fixtures with the Brumbies solidifying their place at the top of the table while three teams hunt to stay in the race for the inaugural title.
With two wins the Rebels take on the unbeaten Brumbies in Sydney as they look to leapfrog the Reds and move into second spot, while the Waratahs will need a win in their grudge match with the Reds if they're to stay in the title race.
Read on for the team lists, odds and analysis of both this weekend's fixtures.
Friday, August 6
Rebels: Reece Hodge, Andrew Kellaway, Campbell Magnay, Matt Toomua, Marika Koroibete, Andrew Deegan, Frank Lomani, Isi Naisarani, Brad Wilkin, Josh Kemeny, Trevor Hosea, Matt Philip, Jermaine Ainsley, Jordan Uelese, Cameron Orr.
Replacements: Efi Ma'afu, Cabous Eloff, Pone Fa'amausili, Michael Stolberg, Richard Hardwick, Rob Leota, James Tuttle, Billy Meakes
Brumbies: Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Andy Muirhead, Bayley Kuenzle, Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Nick Frost, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga'a, Scott Sio.
Replacements: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Will Miller, Ben Hyne, Ryan Lonergan, Mack Hansen, Len Ikitau
Odds [tab.com.au]: TBD
Verdict: Coming away with a tight, but impressive, win over the Reds last week, the Brumbies remain on a four game win streak they'll be determined to continue. Finding their feet with Bayley Kuenzle at playmaker, the Brumbies have gone from strength to strength since Round 1 and with the return of Andy Muirhead and Tom Cusack, they'll be an impressive unit come Friday night. Meanwhile, after six weeks on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Rebels 'home' match will be in Sydney. They'll be without halfback Ryan Louwrens due to biceps injury for the rest of the season, in a huge blow after he has proven himself a major player for the Rebels so far this season and will no doubt be missed on Friday. The biggest change up though, is Andrew Deegan moving into No.10 pushing Matt Toomua out to inside centre. It's a big call from David Wessels who'll need to see some results from his side. Brumbies by 7
Saturday, August 7
Waratahs: Jack Maddocks, James Ramm, Lalakai Foketi, Karmichael Hunt, Alex Newsome, Will Harrison, Jake Gordon, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Lachlan Swinton, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Tom Horton, Tom Robertson.
Replacements: Andrew Tuala, Angus Bell, Tetera Faulkner, Tom Staniford/Jed Holloway, Hugh Sinclair, Mitch Short, Joey Walton, Ben Donaldson
Reds: Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, James O'Connor, Scott Malolua, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright, Angus Scott-Young, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Dane Zander.
Replacements: Alex Mafi, Jack Straker, Zane Nonggorr, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Fraser McReight, Tate McDermott, Bryce Hegarty, Josh Flook
Odds [tab.com.au]: TBD
Verdict: Facing off in Brisbane in Round 1, there was plenty of spice when the Waratahs and Reds clashed, and both sides have promised there will be just as many fireworks come Saturday night. The Reds were disappointed they couldn't come away with the win against the Brumbies last week, after James O'Connor showed his hand in leading his sides impressive comeback. Making just the one change this week with Jordan Petaia making his much anticipated return to the starting line-up. Coming off a bye and an inept loss to the Rebels two weeks ago, the Waratahs are desperate to stay in the competition and get revenge over their inter-state rivals. While they've got firepower up front and throughout the backs, the Tahs disciplinary issues has been their biggest issue this year, and it's unlikely they'll have turned things around in a week. Reds by 6