Sunwolves coach Tony Brown will be hoping his side can learn from past mistakes Friday when they take on the Reds in Brisbane in Round 12 of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

The two sides met in March in Round 5 with the Reds winning 34-31, despite trailing 21-5 at the break.

The loss was one of a number this season by the Sunwolves in similar circumstances and the reason they are currently bottom of both the Australian Conference and overall standings, seven points behind the Reds who are 13th overall.

But such is the closeness of the competition that with six rounds remaining both sides could still make the playoffs.

However, the Sunwolves will need to improve drastically from last week when they were hammered 52-0 to the Highlanders in Tokyo, easily their worst performance of the season.

(Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco scores in the Sunwolves' 34-31 loss to the Reds in Tokyo in March)

Brown has reacted to that defeat by making six changes and three positional switches to his starting XV as the Sunwolves, who have yet to win at home, look to record their third away win of the season.

Japan internationals Masataka Mikami and Shota Horie start at loosehead prop and hooker, respectively, with Pauliasi Manu and Nathan Vella dropping to the bench, while Hiroshi Yamashita keeps his place at tighthead prop despite being replaced after just 28 minutes last Friday.

Luke Thompson once again leads the side from second row where he will be joined by Grant Hattingh, who moves in from openside flanker.

Hendrik Tui swaps the No. 8 jersey for the No. 6 shirt, Kara Pryor steps in at openside flanker and Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco returns at the back of the scrum having started the last two games at inside center.

Related coverage:

Rugby: Highlanders bury Sunwolves in heavy defeat

Rugby: Sunwolves hope crowd can help them top familiar foes

Rugby: Eddie Jones rues demise of Sunwolves

"It's great to have the Japanese front row starting this week," Brown said. "And moving Boni back to No. 8 is going to be crucial for the forwards in trying to get dominance there."

In the backs, Kaito Shigeno is promoted from the bench and starts at scrumhalf, where he will partner Hayden Parker.

Phil Burleigh returns from injury to wear the No. 12 jersey and will partner Jason Emery in a brand new midfield.

The back three of Semisi Masirewa, Gerhard van den Heever and Ryohei Yamanaka remains unchanged.

"Burleigh's experience will be awesome for our backline and we're looking for a really strong performance against the Reds," Brown said.

Takuma Asahara, Tom Rowe and Ben Gunter join Manu and Vella on the bench as the back-up forwards, while Jamie Booth, Yu Tamura and Jamie Henry are the replacement backs.