Brumbies v Reds: Teams
At Canberra Stadium, Saturday May 26, kick-off 10.40am, watch live on Sky Sports 4HD
Last Updated: 26/05/12 2:13pm
High-flying Brumbies host the Reds in a crunch clash in the battle to claim top spot in the Australian Conference.
The Reds currently sit eight points adrift of their opponents, but have a bye next weekend, while the in-form Brumbies are attempting to win their fourth game on the bounce.
Peter Kimlin returns to the Brumbies' starting line-up to wear the No 6 jersey, while Ben Mowen moves back to No 8.
Claiming Kimlin's bench spot is Leon Power, while Fotu Auelua drops out of the 22-man squad.
Head coach Jake White said Kimlin had earned his start as the rotation policy with the forwards continues.
He told the club's official website: "Kimo adds a little bit more as far as experience and height at the line-out are concerned, and he's been the No 1 six flanker, so Benny Mowen moves back to the back of the scrum and we will work from there.
"Benny (Mowen), Hoops (Michael Hooper) and Kimo have worked well for us in that combination as loose forwards in the past. Our defensive and attacking line-out will both benefit with Kimlin there as another option.
"It's not all about disrupting their ball, we have to be able to protect our ball so that's another area where Peter will come in handy. He's played 50 Super Rugby matches for the Brumbies and played for the Wallabies so Peter's experience is a big bonus for us.
"We're treating it exactly like a final. 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."
The Brumbies scrumhalves will also rotate with Ian Prior moving to the bench and Nic White back into the starting side.
For the Reds, flanker Beau Robinson and full-back Luke Morahan have been selected in the starting line-up.
The inclusion of Robinson and Morahan represent the only two changes made to the starting side which recorded a 34-20, four-try bonus point win against the Lions at the weekend.
Morahan comes into the number 15 jersey to replace injured playmaker Ben Lucas, who wasn't able to overcome a groin injury he sustained early in the second half against the Lions.
Lucas became a late withdrawal from the Reds' 23-man touring squad with fly-half Dallan Murphy travelling with the team to Canberra to take a place on the bench.
Robinson has been selected at blindside flanker where he will partner rising star Liam Gill in a back-row that includes Scott Higginbotham at number eight.
The Reds maintain the same tight-five from last week with a front-row of Greg Holmes, Saia Faingaa and James Slipper joining locks Rob Simmons and James Horwill.
Morahan is the sole change to a backline that features playmaking duo Will Genia and Quade Cooper; a centre pairing of Mike Harris and Anthony Faingaa; and wingers Digby Ioane and Dom Shipperley.
"The breakdown has been an important part of the game all year and we'll continue to make it the focus it deserves by starting Liam and Beau in this critical game," said head coach Ewen McKenzie.
"It's a strategy that worked well for us when we defeated the Brumbies earlier this year and Beau is raring to go after being given last week off to bring him back to 100 percent fitness.
"Ben came very close to being right for this week but we made a decision that it would be best to not risk agitating his injury further."
A win on Saturday will see the Reds gain possession of the Rod Macqueen Cup for the first time.
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
Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Beau Robinson, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Jake Schatz, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Dallan Murphy, 22 Chris F'Sautia