Brumbies v Queensland Reds: Team News
Last Updated: 15/02/13 2:35pm
The Brumbies will hand a debut to star signing David Pocock for their Super Rugby opener against the Reds.
Pocock, who will line up at No 7 for his 70th Super Rugby appearance, has been hailed a "game changer" by head coach Jake White.
He will be joined by former Western Force team-mate Siliva Siliva, who will make his debut off the bench behind hooker Stephen Moore.
Brumbies have also recalled last season's Australian Conference's top try-scorer Henry Speight to the right wing and he will be joined on the opposite wing by Clyde Rathbone, who makes his return following a three-year absence.
After his retirement in 2009 due to injury, Rathbone battled back against depression and began to train with his old side. A return to fitness and his sparkling pre-season form mean he is rewarded with a start for his 50th appearance for the club.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie admitted he selected his side based on their recent winning form against the Brumbies, meaning Aidan Toua will start at outside centre following his impressive performance in their 20-13 victory last year.
He will be joined by Ben Tapuai in midfield while the back three comprises of Dom Shipperley, Digby Ioane and goal-kicking full back Mike Harris.
Quade Cooper makes his return to the side after missing last year's qualifying final loss to Sharks through suspension to join Ben Lucas at half-back.
Skipper James Horwill is still sidelined, after a twisted ankle pushed his return back by a further two weeks, handing starts to locks Rob Simmons and Adam Wallace-Harrison. Prop James Slipper will captain the side in Horwill's absence.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 David Pocock, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Colby Faingaa, 19 Fotu Auelua, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Joseph Tomane, 22 Robbie Coleman.
Queensland Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Aidan Toua, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 James Slipper (c), 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 James Hanson, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Jono Lance, 22 Chris F'Sautia