Kimlin to lead Brumbies against Lions
Sun, 16 Jun 2013 08:23
It's good that we can take the local players and play them against the Lions
Wallaby squad members Peter Kimlin and Scott Sio will lift an under-strength Brumbies for their tour match against the British and Irish Lions in Canberra on Tuesday.
The duo were given permission to leave the Wallaby's training camp for the clash, ahead of the first Test in Brisbane this coming Saturday.
No.8 Kimlin will skipper the Australian Super Rugby conference leaders, who will be without six other Wallaby squad members.
Ben Alexander, Ben Mowen, Stephen Moore, Pat McCabe, and Christian Lealiifano remain in the national side's camp, while Joe Tomane is injured.
The Brumbies will also miss their regular scrumhalf Nic White, who is out with a shoulder injury.
Former South African-born Wallaby back Clyde Rathbone will play on the left wing, along with fringe Wallaby Jesse Mogg at fullback.
"This is a huge occasion for us as a team, but also individually," coach Jake White said.
"The Lions are one of rugby's last romantic sides, there is plenty of history there and we know that beating the Lions will go down in Canberra's rugby folklore for many years to come," added White who won the 2007 World Cup with the Springboks.
Canberra club star Chris Cocca will be on the bench.
An impressive season with Easts in Canberra's John I Dent Cup has catapulted Cocca into the big time.
Starting from an eight-man bench, Cocca is joined by fellow debutant prop, Jean-Pierre Smith as two of four new inclusions to the team which pummelled the Rebels two weeks ago.
Smith's identical twin brother, Ruan Smith, will start at loosehead prop.
Andrew Smith has also been included at inside-centre in his first match back since straining his hamstring against the Highlanders in Round Nine. He comes into the side for Pat McCabe who has been included in the Wallabies squad.
Mark Swanepoel comes onto the bench, with Ian Prior to start in place of Nic White who has a fractured scapular.
"It's fantastic for Chris that he has this opportunity to face the Lions. I'm sure he is still pinching himself," White said.
"He's been in fantastic form for Easts and deserves this shot at the Lions. It's a bit of a new situation for us, with an eight-man bench, but JP [Jean-Pierre Smith] has been training with us for a month now and he's comfortable with the job ahead of him.
"I think it's a good indication that the competition in Canberra is becoming stronger, that we can take the local players and play them against a quality outfit like the Lions.
"In the backs it's comforting to be able to include a guy like Andrew Smith, who's got plenty of experience. With Tevita [Kuridrani], they form a big centre pairing and it will be interesting to see how they combine."
In 2001, minus the majority of their stars away with the Wallabies, the Brumbies went pain-stakingly close to knocking the Lions over at Canberra Stadium.
A late try to Austin Healey saved the Lions, who won 30-28, but it was a moment Brumbies supporters have not forgotten and will be hoping to go one better on Tuesday.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Peter Kimlin (captain), 7 Colby Faingaa, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Leon Power, 3 Scott Sio, 2 Siliva Siliva, 1 Ruan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Chris Cocca, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Mark Swanepoel, 22 Robbie Coleman, 23 Zack Holmes.
Date: Tuesday, June 18
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.30 (09.30 GMT; 10.30 UK & Ireland time)
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