The ACT Brumbies needed a boost for their return to Canberra Stadium, but no one expected it to come from the team they will be trying to beat.
The Auckland Blues will rest their most damaging and dangerous attacking weapon for their trip to Canberra on Saturday night, confirming winger Rieko Ioane will miss the match.
Ioane, 22, has scored eight tries in nine games this year to be the competition's most prolific scorer as well as leading Super Rugby in linebreaks.
But Ioane won't be playing against the Brumbies after the Blues decided to rest him for the first time this year as part of an agreement to manage the workload of All Blacks players.
It's good news for the Brumbies, who are trying to snap a three-game losing streak against the unpredictable Auckland side.
MORE BRUMBIES NEWS
The Brumbies returned to training on Wednesday morning after a tough two-game tour of South Africa and Argentina and they'll be desperate to win to stay in the race for Australia's guaranteed finals berth.
The Brumbies haven't beaten the Blues since 2014 and will be without star flanker David Pocock, who is expected to miss at least two more games before returning from a calf injury.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar will name his side on Thursday, with Pocock's back-row partner Lachlan McCaffrey (knee) also in danger of being ruled out for the third consecutive week.
More to come..
SUPER RUGBY ROUND 12
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Auckland Blues at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.