All the action as the Brumbies host the Highlanders in Super Rugby.

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The Highlanders will have taken a while to get there but they know what to expect when they arrive.

The side travels to Canberra to take on the unbeaten Brumbies and will be looking to keep up a winning run over the Australian conference leader.

The Highlanders have won the past four games against the Brumbies although the sides did not play each other last year because of the vagaries of the draw.


The Brumbies, though, will be ignoring those statistics as the side must fancy its chances. It has won the past 10 games at home and looks the most organised of the Australian teams.

The Brumbies play the set piece well and, over the past couple of years, have based much of their game around kicking to the corners and the lineout drive. It can be hard to combat and requires plenty of discipline from the opposing side.

The visiting team was set to arrive in Canberra late last night, taking almost 12 hours to get there involving three plane fights and plenty of waiting time.

Head coach Aaron Mauger said the lengthy travel was about "controlling the controllables".

"There is no other way to get there. For us we make sure we have got good travel plans. The trainers have made sure the boys are eating well and hydrating. Stretching at times between flights," Mauger said.

The side should be ready come game time and he is expecting plenty of fire from the Brumbies.

"They are a pretty physical side and tough to play at home. They have a good record there.

"For us it is about understanding them and understanding their game. Taking away their strengths and be disciplined with our plans and making sure we play in the right side of the field.


"We need to be more physical around our carry and breakdown. Last week we were just a bit over eager at times.

"We created some opportunities. It was just a reflection of a young side."

The Highlanders have made three changes to their starting side.

Jesse Parete comes in for Pari Pari Parkinson who has an ankle injury which is not considered serious.

All Black Shannon Frizell comes in for Dillon Hunt on the blindside flank and Sio Tomkinson comes on to the right wing for Tima Faiga'anuku.

Mauger said Tomkinson was ideally set for this game and would look to make an impact.

The Highlanders have again gone for six forwards on the bench including Irish prop Conan O'Donnell.

O'Donnell played for Connacht as a youth and then turned out for the Sunwolves last season. He played for Counties-Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup last year and trained with the Crusaders late last year.

The tighthead prop has been brought into the team to replace the injured Jeff Thwaites. Thwaites could be back in a couple of weeks.

Mauger said O'Donnell had impressed and was a real character, adding plenty to the team.

The Brumbies have brought James Slipper into the front row and have former Warriors centre Solomone Kata on the right wing.

Highlanders v Brumbies
Canberra, Saturday, 9.15pm

Highlanders: Josh McKay, Sio Tomkinson, Rob Thompson Josh Ioane, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith, Marino Mikaele Tu'u, James Lentjes (captain), Shannon Frizell, Josh Dickson, Jesse Parete, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Ayden Johnstone. Reserves: Ash Dixon, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Conan O'Donnell, Jack Whetton, Dillon Hunt, Kayne Hammington, Michael Collins, Teraki Ben-Nicholas.

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Pete Samu, Will Miller, Murray Douglas, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (captain), Folau Faingaa, James Slipper. Reserves: Connal McInerney, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Cadeyrn Neville, Lachlan McCaffrey, Ryan Lonergan, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead.