Smith earns 50th cap

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 08:59
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NEWS: The Brumbies have made just one change to the side that lost last week in Auckland, with Ruan Smith called in to the starting side to replace Ben Alexander.

Smith will run out in the starting side for his 50th Super Rugby cap against the side he made his Super Rugby debut for back in 2012. Alexander has been switched to the reserves list.

Smith will start in the front row alongside Scott Sio and Stephen Moore. Moore will break Nathan Sharpe's record for most Super Rugby caps for an Australian player when he runs out onto GIO Stadium.

Moore is currently equal with Nathan Sharpe on 162 career caps and will move into outright third on the all-time Super Rugby list with 163 when he takes to the field on Saturday.

Rory Arnold and Sam Carter will line up in the second row while Scott Fardy has been named at blindside flank after leaving the field with a head knock during the match against the Blues.

Jarrad Butler starts at openside flanker while rookie Michael Wells retains his position at No.8.

Tomás Cubelli will start at scrumhalf while co-captain Christian Lealiifano will start at flyhalf. Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani are the centres while Nigel Ah Wong and James Dargaville remain on the wing. Aidan Toua has been named at fullback.

Aside from Smith and Alexander trading places, the reserves list is unchanged from last week. Josh Mann-Rea, Allan Alaalatoa, Alexander, Blake Enever and Tom Staniforth are the forwards on the bench while Joe Powell, Andrew Smith and Lausii Taliauli make up the reserves list.

Injured players Jordan Smiler and David Pocock both trained with the squad this week as they continue rehabilitation from injury. Joe Tomane was earlier this week ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a fractured tibia from a tackle during an appearance in club Rugby last weekend.

A bonus-point win for the Brumbies will ensure a spot in next week's Super Rugby finals.

The Brumbies have won eight and drawn one of their last 10 games against the Force including a current winning streak of five games. The Brumbies defeated the Force at nib Stadium 31-14 in Round Three of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Blake Enever 21 Joe Powell, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Date: Saturday, July 16
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.40 (17.40 AWST; 09.40 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

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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
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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