Smith set to tackle Cheetahs

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:55
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Veteran Wallabies flank George smith is set to start for the Brumbies in their Super Rugby play-off against the Cheetahs in Canberra on Sunday.

Veteran Wallabies flank George smith is set to start for the Brumbies in their Super Rugby play-off against the Cheetahs in Canberra on Sunday.

The experienced loose forward, who made his Wallabies comeback in the third Test against the British and Irish Lions, is set to play a major role against the Cheetahs as Brumbies coach Jake White is determined to name his strongest possible team.

Although Smith started off the bench in the Brumbies' surprise loss to the Force last week, the double Super Rugby champion should get the opportunity to impose himself on the opposition from the first whistle this weekend.

Having been a part of the Brumbies sides that won the title in 2001 and 2004, Smith has the kind of experience that White believes will be crucial at the business end of the season.

"For me now it's about picking a team that can win the competition. George has all that experience, has played in play-offs and won the competition before.

"Any bit of advantage we can get going into this knock-out stage of the competition is going to be vital," White told AAP.

The former Springbok coach is also expecting to have scrumhalf Nic White back in the starting line-up as he is close to full fitness.

"All things being equal he should be ready to go and if he's 90 per cent, look this is a play off game and we've got to pick the best team," White said.

Tighthead prop Ben Alexander said that although there was some rustiness evident in their loss to the force last week, the Brumbies are expecting to hit top gear in front of their home fans on Sunday.

"While we've had our combinations embedded throughout the whole year it was still our first hit-out as a group since the the boys played the Lions, so there was a few cobwebs.

"There's definitely some thinking that if we came in the top two we would've had another week off so I think it's good that we're getting straight onto the field and playing again," he said.

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Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
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
Pool SA1
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
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4