Smiler to debut against Highlanders

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:45
Large jordan smiler brumbies h s Large matt toomua brumbies2 Large jordan smiler ball

Jordan Smiler will make his Super Rugby debut when he starts at blindside flank for the Brumbies against the Highlanders on Friday.

Jordan Smiler will make his Super Rugby debut when he starts at blindside flank for the Brumbies against the Highlanders on Friday.

The 27-year-old joined the Brumbies over the off season, having made his way to Australia first through Waikato in New Zealand's NPC and then the international Sevens circuit.

A tough competitor, Smiler fills the blindside flank's jumper for Friday's clash.

Smiler is one of five changes to the starting line-up - with Matt Toomua (flyhalf), Andrew Smith (outside centre) and Sam Carter (lock) also set to return.

Tevita Kuridrani and Pat McCabe move back to the bench, while Scott Fardy has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Skipper Ben Mowen has been selected at No.8, while Fotu Auelua returns to the bench.

Robbie Coleman also drops from the matchday 22 as does Zack Holmes.

"Jordan has been with us for some time now and understands all the structures and systems in place, he'll slot in nicely on Friday," White said.

"He spent a bit of time with us training during the 2012 season and he's been a great guy to have around the franchise.

"Andrew Smith has had a few weeks out and makes his return to the starting side this week. Andrew was fantastic for us in the early games this year so we will be looking for him to recapture some of that form on Friday."

The Brumbies have never played at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium, the competition's only venue with a roof.

The Brumbies haven't won against the Highlanders in New Zealand since 2009, when the visitors snuck home 33-31.

In 2011 the Highlanders managed to claw one back over the Brumbies thanks to two tries to hooker Jason Rutledge.

Last year the Brumbies again managed to even the ledger when Joe Tomane scored a cracking double at Canberra Stadium.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Tevita Kuridrani.

Date: Friday, April 12
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 17.35 (17.35 AEST; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

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Team P W D L Pts
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Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
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Reds 13 3 1 9 16
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Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
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Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
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Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4