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Auelua unleashed on Reds

Thu, 18 Apr 2013 06:32
Fotu-auelua-b_w Jake-white-looks-up630 Fotu-auelua-hand-off
For the last three years they've been the team to beat
Quote-end

The Brumbies made two changes to their starting side which will face the Reds in a crucial Rod Macqueen Cup Super Rugby encounter on Saturday.

In the forwards Fotu Auelua will start at No.8, moving Ben Mowen to blindside flank and Jordan Smiler back to the bench.

The backs will also enjoy minimal disruption, with Andrew Smith the only casualty of last week's match at Dunedin, after he pulled his hamstring in the first 10 minutes.

Smith has been replaced by Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre, with Clyde Rathbone filling the final spot on the bench.

The Reds present the Brumbies with their biggest challenge of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Brimming with talent, the Reds will carry 279 Test caps onto Suncorp Stadium, with experience spread throughout their forwards, backs and bench.

Adding to the Reds quality are 15 players returning from their 2011 title winning squad, which will be eager to keep the Rod Macqueen Cup in Brisbane for another year.

Last year was the first time the Reds had taken the annual trophy back to Queensland and Brumbies coach Jake White said they would be fighting tooth and nail to keep it there.

"The Reds present us with a massive challenge, but one we need to be able to overcome if we're to progress in this competition," White said.

"For the last three years they've been the team to beat and the side that all other Australian teams have used as a benchmark, so we are fully aware of the challenge that awaits us on Saturday.

"The Reds are the current Australian Conference champions and it was only 18 months ago they were the Super Rugby champions. They have enough international experience to make things very difficult for us on Saturday."

This is the 22nd time the Reds and the Brumbies have faced off and the 10th occasion this fixture has been played in Brisbane. Of those previous nine matches, the Reds have won twice; once in 1999 at Ballymore and again in 2012 at Suncorp Stadium.

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

Date: Saturday, April 20
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.40 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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