Muirhead and Cusack return to run on side for Rebels clash

· Super Rugby - AU
by Brumbies Media

Plus500 Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has made two changes to the starting side for tomorrow night's round six Vodafone Super Rugby fixture against the Melbourne Rebels at Leichhardt Oval.

Vice-captain Tom Cusack and winger Andy Muirhead return to the run on side for the first time since they split the Man of the Match honours in round three against the NSW Waratahs.

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For the third straight week Wallabies trio Scott Sio, Folau Fainga'a and Allan Alaaaltoa make up the front row, with the impressive young lock pairing of Darcy Swain and Nick Frost completing the tight five.

Cusack is joined by Rob Valetini and Pete Samu in the loose forwards, the latter two starting every game so far in 2020. 

The halves see fellow vice-captain Joe Powell partner with Bayley Kuenzle for the third straight week with Irae Simone and Tevita Kuridrani running the midfield. 

Muirhead will be joined in the back three by try-scoring powerhouse Solomone Kata and the electric Tom Banks, who could match up against fellow Wallaby Reece Hodge at fullback.

Canberra boy, Connal McInerney will again be required in the later stages of the match as the replacement hooker, with fellow local pathway products Harry Lloyd and Tom Ross the other front row finishers.

Will Miller and Ben Hyne will provide the remaining cover for the forward pack.

Former Australian Under-20s number nine Ryan Lonergan will make his first appearance in the new competition as the replacement scrumhalf, with last week's hero Mack Hansen and Len Ikitau rounding out the matchday 23.

Plus500 Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: "It's great to be able to call on the experience of Tom and Andy and have them slot back into the starting side this week."

"We've got depth and plenty of confidence across the whole squad and to be able to rotate a few bodies after a really physical game against the Reds last week is a positive for us. 

"The side has prepared really well ahead of the six day turnaround and we'll travel up to Leichhardt excited by the challenge of taking on a tough Rebels side tomorrow night."

1. Scott Sio
2. Folau Fainga'a
3. Allan Alaalatoa (c)
4. Darcy Swain
5. Nick Frost
6. Rob Valetini
7. Tom Cusack
8. Pete Samu
9. Joe Powell
10. Bayley Kuenzle
11. Andy Muirhead
12. Irae Simone
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Solomone Kata
15. Tom Banks

16. Connal McInerney
17. Harry Lloyd
18. Tom Ross
19. Will Miller
20. Ben Hyne
21. Ryan Lonergan
22. Mack Hansen
23. Len Ikitau