Super Rugby AU Round 8 Line-ups, tips, odds, everything you need to know for the weekend

Super Rugby AU's regular season enters its vital final three rounds, with games on the Gold Coast and Canberra in Round 8.

The Force, playing at their temporary home of Cbus Super Stadium, are still looking for their first win of the season and face a tough challenge against the Reds.

But the game of the round comes from GIO Stadium where the resurgent Waratahs will be looking to make it three wins on the trot when they face the Brumbies.

Read on for the team lists, odds and analysis of both this weekend's fixtures.

Friday, August 6

Western Force vs. Queensland Reds, CBUS Stadium, Gold Coast, 7:05pm [AEST]

Force: Jake Strachan, Byron Ralston, Kyle Godwin, Richard Kahui, Brad Lacey, Jono Lance, Ian Prior; Brynard Stander, Kane Koteka, Fergus Lee Warner, Ollie Atkins, Jeremy Thrush, Kieran Longbottom, Andrew Ready, Pek Cowan.

Replacements: Heath Tessman, Chris Heiberg, Tom Sheminant, Johan Bardoul, Ollie Callan, Nick Frisby, Jack McGregor, Henry Taefu.

Reds: Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, Josh Flook, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, James O'Connor, Tate McDermott; Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jack Straker.

Replacements: Josh Nasser, Harry Hoopert, Zane Nonggorr, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Moses Sorovi, Bryce Hegarty, Jack Hardy.

Odds [tab.com.au]: Force $4.50 (+11.5 $1.90), Reds $1.20 (-11.5 $1.90)

Verdict: The Force continue to prove they belong in this competition, but are still searching for that true 80-minute performance. Again last week they conceded an early lead to the Waratahs, eventually going down 28-8. In the corresponding game earlier in the year it was similar story, the Force charging out of the blocks with two early tries before the Reds found their groove and proved too strong down the stretch. The Queenslanders, meanwhile, are coming off a stirring defensive performance against the Rebels last week when they repelled Dave Wessels' side for virtually the entire second half. They will have taken loads of confidence from that and with James O'Connor looking better with every game he plays in the No. 10 jersey, the Reds should emerge from this one with a comfortable victory. They are however without the hard-running presence of Hunter Paisami; coach Brad Thorn, somewhat surprisingly, keeping Jordan Petaia on the wing and instead promoting Josh Flook to outside centre. Reds by 14.

Saturday, August 7

Brumbies vs. NSW Waratahs, GIO Stadium, Canberra, 7:15pm [AEST]

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Solomone Kata, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Bayley Kuenzle, Ryan Lonergan, Pete Samu, Will Miller, Lachie McCaffrey, Cadeyrn Neville, Murray Douglas, Allan Alaalatoa, Connal McInerney, James Slipper.

Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Darcy Swain, Rob Valetini, Tom Cusack, Nic White, Len Ikitau

Waratahs: Jack Maddocks, James Ramm, Joey Walton, 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: Robbie Abel, Tetera Faulkner, Angus Bell, Tom Staniforth, Hugh Sinclair, Mitch Short, Ben Donaldson, Lalakai Foketi.

Odds [tab.com.au]: Brumbies $1.40 (-7.5 $1.90), Waratahs $3.00 (+7.5 $1.90)

Verdict: The Brumbies have had a fortnight to think about their listless showing against the Rebels in Sydney, and coach Dan McKellar has certainly shaken his team up since that defeat. McKellar has made nine changes in total, giving Solomone Kata a first chance at outside centre; there is a new halves combination of Ryan Lonergan and Bayley Kuenzle; the back-row includes Will Miller and Lachie McCaffrey while Scott Sio and Connal McInerney come into the front-row at the expense of Scott Sio and Folau Fainga'a. The Brumbies also welcome back Nic White, who makes his return on the bench. McKellar needed to switch things up a little with fatigue starting to catch up with the Brumbies even before the heavy Rebels defeat. The Waratahs, meanwhile, are riding high after finally notching back-to-back wins; coach Rob Penney making just the three changes to his starting side with Tom Robertson, Ned Hanigan and Joey Walton all rejoining the run-on XV. This promises to be a starkly different contest to their Super Rugby meeting in Canberra earlier this year -- the competition's last before it was canceled -- and should follow a similar script to the one that occurred in Sydney last month. Crucially for the Waratahs, fly-half Will Harrison gets better with every game and has shown he knows how to control a match. Still, the Brumbies should just edge it at home. Brumbies by 2.

BYE: Rebels