Speight returns to chase Cheetahs

Thu, 15 May 2014 07:57
Large speight   cummins.jpg630

Henry Speight returns to the wing for his first appearance since fracturing his jaw in Round Five when the Brumbies take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
 

Henry Speight returns to the wing for his first appearance since fracturing his jaw in Round Five when the Brumbies take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Australia's top try-scorer in 2012 and 2013, Speight has been limited to just four appearances for the Brumbies in 2014, after collecting a loose elbow against the Waratahs which required surgery.

But since then, Speight has returned to full health and is now ready to climb into the Cheetahs.

He comes into the team for Joe Tomane who fractured his eye socket last week against the Sharks.

South African-born JP Smith returns to the bench in place of Ruaidhri Murphy in an otherwise unchanged team from the one which beat the Sharks in Canberra last Saturday.

The last time the Brumbies visited Bloemfontein was in 2011, when the team was soundly beaten, 47-36.

Despite finishing fast in that match, the Brumbies could not overcome a 24-32 half-time deficit.

The Cheetahs are currently running 14th, with two wins from their 12 appearances in 2014.

But having created history in 2013 and gone inches from knocking the Brumbies off at home in a nail-biting play-off, the visitors will not be taking the Cheetahs lightly.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe.

Date: Saturday, May 17
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT; 05.10, Sunday, May 18 AEST)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9