Brumbies make lock change for Rebels

Lock Darcy Swain is injured so Cadeyrn Neville will make his Brumbies starting debut in their Super Rugby clash with the Melbourne Rebels.

The Brumbies have made one injury-forced change to face the Melbourne Rebels and coach Dan McKellar says the journeyman replacement has Wallabies potential.

Lock Darcy Swain (shoulder) has been ruled out of the round two Super Rugby clash at Canberra Stadium on Friday so former Rebels and Queensland Reds lock Cadeyrn Neville make his starting debut for the Brumbies.

McKellar backed 31-year-old Neville to fix their set-piece which struggled at times during their opening-round win against Queensland.

"He's a good athlete. He was a rower in his younger days so he's got a big engine on him and moves well for a guy who's 122kg's," McKellar said.

"We pride ourselves on our forward game in particular and he's at the heart of that as a tighthead lock.

"His best years are ahead of him. There's an opportunity here and there's an opportunity within Australian rugby for locks in 2020."

While Neville is paired with Murray Douglas, Junior Wallaby Nick Frost is poised for a Super Rugby debut as second-row cover.

Rookie No.10 Noah Lolesio holds onto the playmaking reins after a solid debut while back-up Bayley Kuenzle could also make his Super Rugby debut after spending all 80 minutes on the bench last week.

The Brumbies have won nine-straight games at home and are gunning for the club record of 13 which they set 22 years ago, but the Rebels have dominated their recent rivalry.

They have won the previous four games against last year's Australian conference winners and are looking to bounce back from a shock loss to the Sunwolves in Japan.

"We know how tough it is to win up there (in Japan). Everyone tells you by how many and it's rubbish," McKellar said.

"Anyone who thinks the Sunwolves are going to be a walk in the park are kidding so we're not reading too much into that result.

"It's an Australian conference game so eight to 10 points are up for grabs because you're denying the opposition as well.

"They'll be motivated and looking to bounce back."

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Cadeyrn Neville, Murray Douglas, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga'a, Scott Sio. Res: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, James Slipper, Nick Frost, Will Miller, Ryan Lonergan, Bayley Kuenzle, Andy Muirhead.


AAP