With the concussion cobwebs cleared, David Pocock has been cleared to take his place in the Brumbies when they face the Hurricanes.
The Brumbies have made some wholesale changes to their forward pack, but having Pocock back in the sort of change most coaches would welcome.
He was stood down for a game following an accidental elbow to the bone covering his brain when the Brumbies played their opener with Melbourne two weeks ago.
The Hurricanes are making some shifts, too, swapping one Barrett brother for another.
Given some of the financial struggles we have observed in the past with Super Rugby, it is probably a relief that the Hurricanes can use the same shirt for both Barretts.
Beauden Barrett will play his first game of 2019 in the number 10 jersey for the Brumbies. He took some time away, using the flimsy excuse of getting married; missing the first two games with the Waratahs and the Crusaders. Jodie Barrett was dropped, not for any lack of production, but for rest and Brumbies Coach John Plumtree considers the workload of All Blacks requirements.
“It’s a big year for him — I think he’s pleased to be back home from all his travels and he’s settled back in,” Plumtree said. “We got some good work into last week and now he’s ready to run the ship.”
The Canes will debut Chase Tiatia at fullback and the loose forward trio will get a boost from the returns of Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita, both of whom are returning from injuries.
Plumtree is leaving the backline alone, which seems like a case of coaching sagacity, as the backline was a nightmare for the Chiefs in that game.
The Brumbies are at the top of the table in the Australian Conference, while the Hurricanes are third in the New Zealand Conference, with the same win – loss record as the Brumbies.