Godwin takes centre stage against Crusaders
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Seven players are in line to make their Brumbies debut with four named in the starting line-up for their opening Super Rugby clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Prop Nic Mayhew, flank Chris Alcock, flyhalf Wharenui Hawera and centre Kyle Godwin will all pull on the jersey for their maiden appearance with Lolo Fakaosilea, Dewet Roos and Isaac Thompson named amongst the replacements.
Sam Carter will lead the team for the first time in a competitive match in a side that contains eight Wallabies in the run-on team.
Carter is part of a strong looking pack, forming an all-international second-row pairing with Rory Arnold, behind a front row of Mayhew, the experienced Josh Mann-Rea and Wallaby lynchpin Allan Alaalatoa.
There's a youthful look to the halfback pairing with 22-year-old Joe Powell lining up alongside 23-year-old New Zealand-born flyhalf Hawera, who will take on the playmaker role with the Brumbies newest Wallaby cap, Godwin, at inside centre.
Flyers Henry Speight, Aidan Toua and James Dargaville add pace and acceleration into the back three with the counter-attacking ability of the trio a huge plus against a Crusaders team who are always a tough assignment on their own turf.
On the bench, Thompson comes into the Brumbies squad on a Supplementary Contract, after impressing during pre-season training and during the trial matches against the Australian Barbarians and Waratahs, whilst new signing Roos provides cover for Powell.
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Dewet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson.
Date: Saturday, February 25
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 AEST; 06.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Glen Newman (New Zealand)