Tevita Kuridrani returns to Canberra Stadium determined to shine in rival colours for a Western Force outfit vowing to be "ruthless" in search of a Super Rugby AU boilover.
Kuridrani will play his first game at Canberra Stadium since shifting west after spending nine seasons in ACT Brumbies colours.
He lines up at outside centre against Brumbies young gun Len Ikitau, who beat Kuridrani to a place in the Wallabies squad as a surprise bolter last year.
Now Force coach Tim Sampson can sense a spring in Kuridrani's step leading into a date with his former club on Friday night.
It couldn't come at a better time for a Force outfit keen to bounce back from a pair of near-misses in search of their biggest scalp since returning to the Super Rugby fold.
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"He had a bit of energy out there today [at the captain's run]," Sampson grinned.
"He loves Canberra obviously, spending nine years here he has got some great friends and he has slotted in really well with us. He's a likeable character, hopefully he has a good game on a ground he is comfortable on.
"We made some pretty good improvements last weekend against the [Queensland] Reds and it's just about making sure we keep going and keep improving.
"Mid-tournament, we can't use that 'improvement' word anymore. We've got to put in a pretty ruthless display [on Friday] night to get the win."
Force captain Brynard Stander says his side must set the tone at the set piece in a bid to unsettle a Brumbies pack determined to bounce back from a last-start loss to the Reds.
The Brumbies boast a new-look forward pack with Allan Alaalatoa, Scott Sio, Tom Cusack, Connal McInerney and Tom Ross all sidelined.
James Slipper returns at tighthead prop while ex-Force prop Harry Lloyd earns his first start at loosehead.
"It's huge. Every team that comes up against them has a really good look at their set piece," Stander said.
"Obviously we respect them but we feel very capable to go out [on Friday] night and do our best to shut that down and also show a bit of our own strengths as well.
"We know what we're expecting. They're obviously a competition leading side, they're a strong side but very set-piece orientated too, and we definitely have a plan of action too.
"We've just got to have a really good start. Being the Brumbies, we know what to expect from them. They're going to be strong in the set piece, hopefully we can do really well to shut that down."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND SIX
Friday: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Stan Sport. Tickets from Ticketek.
ACT Brumbies squad: 1. Harry Lloyd, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. James Slipper, 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Jahrome Brown, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Nic White (C), 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Mack Hansen, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Andy Muirhead, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Fred Kaihea, 18. Sefo Kautai, 19. James Tucker, 20. Rory Scott, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Reesjan Pasitoa, 23. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa.
Western Force squad: 1.Tom Robertson, 2. Feleti Kaitu'u, 3. Greg Holmes, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Sitaleki Timani, 6. Fergus Lee Warner, 7. Kane Koteka, 8. Brynard Stander (c), 9. Tomas Cubelli, 10. Jack McIntrye, 11. Marcel Brache, 12. Henry Taefu, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor. Replacements: 16. Jack Winchester, 17. Angus Wagner, 18. Santiago Medrano, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Tim Anstee, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Jono Lance, 23. Jordan Olowofela.
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