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Brumbies get front row boost

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:35
Stephen-moore
They're clearly pretty desperate
Quote-end
The Brumbies have been boosted by the return of hooker Stephen Moore and loosehead prop Scott Sio for their trip to Brisbane to play the Reds on Friday.
 
Hopes of the Brumbies handing the Reds their first back-to-back home defeats since 2009 will have been raised with the return of Wallaby internationals Moore and Sio.
 
The front row duo are fit and ready and will travel with the Brumbies' squad for the crunch game.
 
91-cap Moore is back into the Brumbies' fold after missing the 26-9 win over the Blues last week with a knee problem, while 4-cap Wallaby Scott Sio has recovered from an ankle injury following three weeks on the sidelines.
 
The 11th-placed Reds will be desperate to bounce back after last week's 29-32 home loss to the Western Force, and arch-rivals the Brumbies will be champing at the bit to consign them their second straight defeat at their Suncorp Stadium fortress on Friday.
 
It would be payback for the conference-leading Canberra-based franchise, who were knocked over by the Reds 27-17 in their season opener at their home stadium earlier this year.
 
The return of Moore and Sio is huge injection for the depleted Brumbies pack, which is already missing loose forwards David Pocock and Fotu Auelua as well as locks Sam Carter and Leon Power - all to varying knee injuries.
 
"They're clearly pretty desperate after their loss, they've said openly their season is on the line," Moore told AAP.
 
"So it's going to take nothing less than our best to win."
 
Sio's earlier-than-expected return will not only further bolster the Brumbies' scrum, but also give him a chance to show his worth against his rival for the national loosehead spot, James Slipper.
 
"I guess there's always that there," Sio said.
 
"But at the end of the day I'm coming here to do my best for the Brumbies.
 
"If I cross paths with him on the field, then I do, but by no means will I be looking for him out there."
 
The Reds haven't suffered back-to-back losses at Suncorp Stadium in the same season since the final round of 2009, just before former Reds and now Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie took over and ignited the charge towards the team's 2011 Super Rugby title.
 
They'll have more than just pride and records to play for, however, as Reds CEO Jim Carmichael earlier this week put the players on notice by saying the romance was over with the 2011 squad.
 
Slipper said that despite the squad's current lull, he believed their best rugby was still to come.
 
"We don't want to keep living on the 2011 high," Slipper said.
 
"We want to look past that, we want to gain more memories.
 
"We're only just [two points] out of the top six. We'll be looking to not only stay with them, but stringing some wins together," Slipper added.
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