Fardy returns for Brumbies
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has made three changes to the starting XV for the clash with the Waratahs this Saturday in Sydney.
Nigel Ah Wong, who scored four tries in the Brumby Runners victory over Sydney University at Viking Park a fortnight ago, comes into the team in place of James Dargaville on the left wing.
Flank Scott Fardy, who was rested during the 25-17 win over the Force at GIO Stadium last Friday, returns in the back row in place of the impressive Ben Hyne who drops to the bench whilst Lolo Fakaosilea replaces Chris Alcock.
Larkham has opted for a five-three split amongst his replacements for the challenge of the Waratahs with Tom Staniforth stepping down and Jordan Jackson-Hope, who has been in excellent form for the Runners, getting an opportunity.
Otherwise, it's the same group who saw off the Force with the young halfback pairing of Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera continuing to pull the strings from the playmaker positions. Both are growing into the role with aplomb and were amongst the Brumbies best last week.
Up front a strong pack is littered with Wallaby representation with the front five all multiple capped internationals. A back row of Fardy, Fakaosilea and Jordan Smiler will add mobility and bite in the loose, with the ball-carrying ability of the trio sure to have a major bearing on the outcome.
Kyle Godwin, who scored his first try in Brumbies colours against his old team at GIO Stadium, takes his place alongside Tevita Kuridrani at centre whilst Ah Wong and Henry Speight provides the cutting edge out wide.
The Brumbies were victorious in Sydney last season and have won the last two matches between the teams. Sitting on top of the Australian Conference they will be aiming to make it a three-peat on Saturday evening.
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nigel Ah Wong, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Lolo Fakaosilea, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Ben Hyne, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Andrew Smith.
Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.45 (08.45)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), William Houston (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)