The cavalry has answered the call with world-class props Allan Alaalatoa and Scott Sio set to bolster the ACT Brumbies for a showdown between two Super Rugby AU title contenders.
Alaalatoa and Sio will return to the Brumbies squad for a clash with the ladder-leading Queensland Reds at Brisbane's Lang Park on Saturday night.
Brumbies captain Alaalatoa makes his comeback from a three-game suspension while Sio returns off the bench from an elbow injury in a match which could define the make-up of the finals series.
Alaalatoa's ban for an accidental high shot left him feeling like he'd let his mates down. So just how desperate has the 27-year-old been to get back on the park and make amends?
"Very," Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said in a matter of fact manner.
"He was shattered and really took that suspension to heart. He thought he'd let people down, which he certainly didn't, it was just an accidental high shot at speed with some big blokes going hard at each other.
"He's certainly keen to get back out there and lead the side, and lead through his actions, that's what he is all about. He's not someone that talks too much, he likes to lead from the front.
"Experienced, world class props. It's a good time to get them back. They've both trained really well for a couple of weeks.
"Al obviously hasn't been carrying an injury, he's been in full training. He has led the group well behind the scenes and he's keen."
It sets the scene for a front-row showdown between the competition's benchmark forward packs.
Alaalatoa's return means James Slipper can return to his preferred position of loosehead prop, having shifted to tighthead to cover for the loss of Alaalatoa and Tom Ross in the No. 3 jersey.
Slipper was far from 100 per cent returned early from a knee injury to answer an SOS in the front-row as the club faced an alarming test of depth.
But he was adamant he "just had to do it" for the sake of the Brumbies in a selfless move that left McKellar full of praise.
"It just says a lot about his character, his toughness and resilience," McKellar said.
"I've always had a lot of respect for him and that respect has probably grown a little bit to be honest. He certainly wasn't 100 per cent against the Force, playing out of position, and was one of our best after four weeks out.
"He's done a job for us there, loosehead is his preferred position and he is looking forward to starting there."
Sio and Sefo Kautai will provide prop reinforcements from the bench, however Ross is closing in on a return from his own knee injury on the road to the finals.
"He's not far either. We've gone from one extreme to the other there with props, all of a sudden they're starting to fall out of trees," McKellar said.
It's a major boost for the Brumbies in the wake of a ruthless review of their narrow win against NSW last week, a game in which they fell below their high standards.
So hollow was the victory McKellar says "it was like singing the team song after a loss", and he knows it will elicit a major response against the Reds this week.
"The review was driven by the players and they were well aware of what was coming. We know we've got to be better this week," McKellar said.
"The reality is it's tough to be on every week and we weren't at our level or our standards last Friday night. That won't be the case on Saturday."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND EIGHT
Saturday: Queensland Reds v ACT Brumbies at Lang Park, 7.45pm. Broadcast: Live on Stan Sport and Gem.
ACT Brumbies team: 1. James Slipper, 2. Folau Fainga'a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Nic White, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Andy Muirhead, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Tom Wright, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Sefo Kautai, 19. Nick Frost, 20. James Tucker, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Mack Hansen.
Queensland Reds team: 1. Feao Fotuaika, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Ryan Smith, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Angus Scott-Young, 7. Fraser McReight, 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. James O'Connor (c), 11. Jock Campbell, 12. Hamish Stewart, 13. Hunter Paisami, 14. Jordan Petaia, 15. Bryce Hegarty. Replacements: 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Richie Asiata, 18. Zane Nonggorr, 19. Seru Uru, 20. Liam Wright, 21. Kalani Thomas, 22. Josh Flook, 23. Filipo Daugunu.
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