Rebels fullback Mike Harris will finally return to the Melbourne 15 jersey, just in time for the side's critical clash with the Brumbies.
Harris has only played one match this season, with a quad injury against the Force in round one keeping him out for the next nine weeks, and is one of three changes to the Rebels' starting XV.
Melbourne will also welcome back Lopeti Timani (quad) after the second rower missed the side's clash with the Blues a fortnight ago.
Colby Fainga'a will make his first run-on start since injuring his elbow in round one, at blindside flanker, after two impressive performances off the bench.
Jordy Reid shifts to the pine for the clash with Fainga'a's move to the starting team.
Winger Tom English is another welcome inclusion for the Rebels, returning from a knee injury that was initially feared to be a long-term issue after six weeks out.
English's inclusion on the bench gives him three matches to propel back into the Wallabies frame ahead of next month's Test series against England
The Rebels' changes are incredibly timely as they prepare for a match that could determine not only the Australian conference winner but the country's only Super Rugby finalist.
Rebels coach Tony McGahan said the Rebels would need all of the experience in their side to overcome the Brumbies.
“We’ll be calling on all our experience on Friday night against the Brumbies so it’s great to welcome back Colby, Mike and Lopeti back in the starting 15,” Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan said.
“It’s exciting for the club to still be in the conversation at this point of the season but we’re under no illusion about the importance of this game so we need to back ourselves and our abilities for this opportunity.”
The Rebels won the last match between the two teams, their first win in Canberra.
1. Toby Smith
2. James Hanson
3. Jamie Hagan
4. Luke Jones
5. Lopeti Timani
6. Colby Fainga'a
7. Sean McMahon
8. Adam Thomson
9. Nic Stirzaker (captain)
10. Jack Debreczeni
11. Cam Crawford
12. Reece Hodge
13. Tamati Ellison
14. Sefa Naivalu
15. Mike Harris
16. Pat Leafa
17. Cruze Ah Nau
18. Tim Metcher
19. Sam Jeffries
20. Jordy Reid
21. Ben Meehan
22. Tom English
23. Kotaro Matsushima