The Brumbies will welcome back Narromine-born hooker Josh Mann-Rea for their daunting Super Rugby assignment against the Hurricanes in Napier on Friday.
Mann-Rea, 36, has made an earlier-than-expected recovery from a knee injury after missing four matches and relegates Robbie Abel to the bench.
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has given his players a licence to thrill as they try to match the attacking might of the Hurricanes.
But he says having a player of Mann-Rea’s calibre back in the side can also be of assistance against one of the premier teams in the competiiton.
"Bongo (Mann-Rea) is a marquee player for us," Larkham said.
"He's a stand-out player at set-piece time but also around the field and I think ahead of schedule with his injury, it's timely to bring him back in.
"You've got to be very clever strategically against New Zealand sides with the opportunities you give them from turnover and counterattack, but at the same time you've got to score points."