Given their positions on the table – Brumbies second and Chiefs third, both with 25 points – this is shaping up to be match of the weekend.
According to replacement Jarrad Butler, although not having been part of the Brumbies side that lost the Super Rugby Final to the Chiefs in Hamilton last season, said the rematch was a chance to prove their championship credentials.
“There’s a lot of incentives to beat the Chiefs,” Butler told the Canberra Times.
“As far as wanting to win the grand final later this year, you have to be able to knock off teams like the Chiefs.
“I think Friday is going to be pretty telling.
“[We] understand how important it is as far as the whole season’s concerned.”
And Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was also playing up the importance of the game as a decisive encounter in the build-up to the play-offs in July.
“We’re taking away a pretty good side and we know if we play well we’re a good show,” Rennie told the Waikato Times.
“We’re playing against a team with some really good form over there and tough to beat at home so she’s a big challenge,” Rennie said.
The return of Samoan international Mahonri Schwalger, who comes in for 21-year-old hooker Rhys Marshall, was important for the Chiefs in terms of his experience – not to mention his set-piece skills.
“We’re going to need that this week,” the Chiefs mentor told the Hamilton-based newspaper.
“The Brumbies scrum a lot for penalties, they drive [from line-outs] a lot for penalties – so are very efficient [in those set-piece areas] and pretty destructive on opposition ball.
“Having Mo [Schwalger] back is a real bonus.”
2013: Chiefs won 27-22, Hamilton (Final)
2012: Chiefs won 29-22, Hamilton
2011: Brumbies won 28-20, Canberra
2010: Brumbies won 30-23, Canberra
2009: Chiefs won 10-7, Hamilton
2008: Chiefs won 42-28, Canberra
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe.
Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Liam Messam (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Dwayne Sweeney, 23 James Lowe.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia) , Andrew Lees (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)