ACT Brumbies skipper Sam Carter says Scott Fardy's omission from a round-three Super Rugby clash will spark inter-squad competition, admitting even he was surprised by the selection shake up.
But rookie Ben Hyne, who turned 23 on Tuesday, says he won't be overawed by the challenge of filling Fardy's boots and vowed to repay the Brumbies faith after an injury disaster ruined his debut last year.
Fardy has been left out of the Brumbies game-day squad for the first time in 62 matches as the team targets is first win of the season against the Western Force on Friday night.
Wallabies flanker Fardy has been one of the Brumbies' best in the opening two games of the year and coach Stephen Larkham said leaving him out was based on tactics instead of form.
"I was a little bit [surprised], but that's [Larkham] and the coaches' decision, I didn't really have anything to do with that," Carter said.
"[Fardy] has been good the first two matches but Benny Hyne deserves his opportunity. I've got full confidence he can go out and put a good performance in.
"Hyne is a player like Fards ... I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do out there.
"The type of culture we want to instil down here is that everyone is fighting for a position. Even if you're not in the game-day squad, you're still fighting.
"If we have all the reserves pushing us, it will make us better and them better as well."
Hyne's Super Rugby debut lasted less than five minutes when he was thrown into the starting XV against the Queensland Reds.
He injured his ankle and needed surgery, ruling him out for the rest of the year. But the Brumbies put faith in the former Brisbane carpenter, offering him a deal and giving him a chance to start against the Force.
"I'm pretty excited to be able to get out there and prove myself," Hyne said.
"I'm sort of treating it like I'm making my debut again. The first one was cut a bit short and there's definitely just as much excitement as there was last year.
"I didn't want to be a one-hit wonder that lasted four minutes. That drove me to get back and get an opportunity that I do deserve to be there, and repay the Brumbies backing me."
But Hyne was surprised his Super Rugby recall came at the expense of Fardy, who hasn't missed a game since halfway through the 2013 season.
The Brumbies are fighting to avoid a hat-trick of losses for the first time in six years and the club hasn't lost three games to start a season since 1999.
Fardy's omission raised eyebrows given he's a leader in the team and gets through a mountain of work, but the Ireland-bound 32-year-old quipped last week: "Younger players are always going to be better than me."
Larkham has several back-rowers waiting for a chance to impress in Super Rugby, including Hyne, Jarrad Butler, teenager Rob Valetini and former Australian sevens player Tom Cusack.
"Fards has put a good couple of games together. I've been talking to [Larkham and assistant coach Dan McKellar] and they wanted to give me a crack," Hyne said.
"I probably didn't think I'd go into the starting side, I thought I'd have to make my way in from the bench.
"Given where we are this season, it's good that they've got faith in me and my ability to get the job done.
"Fards has been giving some clarity around the role at training, not really advice but just making sure I get my head around all of the knowledge. I just can't wait to get stuck in."
SUPER RUGBY ROUND THREE
Friday: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.
Brumbies team: 15. Aidan Toua, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. James Dargaville, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Jordan Smiler, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Ben Hyne, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 1. Ben Alexander. Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Nic Mayhew, 18. Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Tom Staniforth, 21. Lolo Fakaosilea, 22. De Wet Roos, 23. Andrew Smith.
Force team: 15. Dane Haylett-Petty, 14. Chance Peni, 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Billy Meakes, 11. Luke Morahan, 10. Jono Lance, 9. Ryan Louwrens, 8. Richard Hardwick, 7. Kane Koteka, 6. Brynard Stander, 5. Matt Philip, 4. Ross Haylett-Petty, 3. Tetera Faulkner, 2. Heath Tessmann, 1. Pek Cowan. Reserves: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Jermaine Ainsley, 19. Onehunga Havili Kaufusi, 20. Isi Naisarani, 21. Michael Ruru, 22. Ian Prior, 23. Robbie Coleman.