The Rebels and Force have rung the changes while the Brumbies and Reds have regained their captains.

The Rebels and Force have rung the changes while the Brumbies and Reds have regained their captains.

Read on for all the latest Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa team news

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SUPER RUGBY AU, ROUND EIGHT

REBELS vs FORCE, Friday 7.45pm AEST at AAMI Park

The Rebels and Force have opted for selection shake-ups for Friday’s round eight clash which could prove decisive in the race for the third Australian finals spot.

The Reds and Brumbies look destined to finish first and second and so the race is on between the Rebels (10 points) and Force (six) to claim a spot in the qualifying final.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels had been very settled with selection this season but has reacted to the heavy defeat against the Reds last weekend.

The versatile Reece Hodge has been moved from inside centre to fullback in place of Tom Pincus with former Australian sevens captain Lewis Holland earning his first start in the No.12 jersey.

The other change to the starting lineup sees Rob Leota promoted to start ahead of Steve Cummins in the second row after some dynamic performances off the bench.

“This is a really important game for us,” Wessels said.

“We know the Force will be fresh coming off the bye, but we just need to be better than last week.

“We were really disappointed with that performance and we know can be better and Friday is the perfect night to prove it.”

Domingo Miotti of the Pumas takes a photo with fans.

Force coach Tim Sampson, meanwhile, has gone all in with his Argentine contingent this week.

Domingo Miotti will start at five-eighth outside Pumas halves partner Tomas Cubelli while Tomas Lezana completes the axis at No.8.

Santiago Medrano also gets a start at tighthead prop while Kyle Godwin will captain the side with club leaders Brynard Stander and Ian Prior named on extended bench.

Another interesting selection is England speedster Jordan Olowofela, on loan from Leicester, named for his first start on the left wing.

REBELS (15-1): Reece Hodge, Frank Lomani, Stacey Ili, Lewis Holland, Marika Koroibete, Matt To’omua (c), Joe Powell, Michael Wells, Richard Hardwick, Josh Kemeny, Trevor Hosea, Rob Leota, Pone Fa’amausili, James Hanson, Cabous Eloff

Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Matt Gibbon, Lucio Sordoni, Steve Cummins, Brad Wilkin, James Tuttle, Tom Pincus, Jeral Skelton

FORCE (15-1): Jack McGregor, Byron Ralston, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin (c), Jordan Olowofela, Domingo Miotti, Tomas Cubelli, Tomas Lezana, Kane Koteka, Fergus Lee-Warner, Sitaleki Timani, Jeremy Thrush, Santiago Medrano, Feleti Kaitu’u, Tom Robertson

Reserves (from): Andrew Ready, Jack Winchester, Angus Wagner, Kieran Longbottom, Ryan McCauley, Tim Anstee, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Grason Makara, Richard Kahui

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REDS vs BRUMBIES, Saturday 7.45pm AEST at Suncorp Stadium

Reds captain Liam Wright has been named on the bench and is poised for his first Super Rugby action of the year after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the preseason.

James O’Connor will continue to lead the side but the return of the loose forward is another boost for the competition leaders.

“It’s great to have Liam back in the side this week,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said.

“He’s been working hard on his rehab with our physio and S&C team for the past two months to ensure he’s strong and fit to return.

“His leadership amongst the group has only grown and we’re looking forward to having him back out there.

“It’s always a tough contest against the Brumbies and we expect nothing different from them this weekend.

“We’re hoping for a big crowd on Saturday night.”

It will be fullback Bryce Hegarty’s 100th Super Rugby game.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies welcome back captain Allan Alaalatoa to start at tighthead prop after serving his three game suspension.

That allows James Slipper to revert to the loosehead side of the scrum in place of Harry Lloyd while Scott Sio is named on the bench after recovering from a elbow injury.

“Allan and Scotty are world class props,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.

“It’s a good time to get them back, they’ve both trained really well for a couple of weeks.

“Allan’s certainly¬†keen to get back out there and lead the side through his actions, that’s what he’s all about.”

The other change to the starting lineup sees lock Darcy Swain replace Nick Frost while James Tucker will provide loose forward cover from the bench.

“James played a lot of backrow at ITM (Cup) level in New Zealand, he’ll do a good job for us there,” McKellar said.

REDS (15-1): Bryce Hegarty, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart, Jock Campbell, James O’Connor (c), Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Angus Scott-Young, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Feao Fotuaika

Reserves: Alex Mafi, Richie Asiata, Zane Nonggorr, Seru Uru, Liam Wright, Kalani Thomas, Josh Flook, Filipo Daugunu

BRUMBIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Len Ikitau, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Nic White, Pete Samu, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper

Reserves: Lachlan Lonergan, Scott Sio, Sefo Kautai, Nick Frost, James Tucker, Ryan Lonergan, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen

SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA, ROUND SEVEN

HIGHLANDERS vs CHIEFS, Saturday 5.05pm AEST at Forsyth Barr Stadium

HIGHLANDERS (TBC):

CHIEFS (TBC):

HURRICANES vs CRUSADERS, Sunday 1.35pm AEST at Sky Stadium

HURRICANES (TBC):

CRUSADERS (TBC):

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