Alexander out of Rebels clash

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 06:35
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has made one enforced change from the starting XV that defeated the Jaguares for their clash against the Melbourne Rebels.

Prop Nic Mayhew coming into the team in place of the injured Ben Alexander.

Alexander had been set to make Brumbies history by claiming his 143rd cap against the Rebels at GIO Stadium this Saturday, but an injury sustained late in training on Wednesday has put those plans on hold.

Mayhew, who himself was forced to miss the match in Buenos Aires through injury, comes into the team which returns from their around-the-world trip, having gained nine points following excellent victories against the Kings in Port Elizabeth and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

Joe Powell, included in the Wallabies Test squad for the June series for matches against Scotland, Italy and Fiji, remains at scrumhalf in a backline that also includes Henry Speight, Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani, who Wallabies coach Michael Cheika also selected this week.

Tom Banks, who looked sharp in a man-of-the-match performance in Argentina which brought him a brace of tries, is at fullback, with Aidan Toua remaining on the left wing. 

There are two changes on the replacements bench with Nigel Ah Wong coming back into the matchday 23 for the first time since Round Nine.

Tom Staniforth replaces Blake Enever in the other change amongst the replacements whilst Faalelei Sione, who became Brumby No.196 last weekend, gets another opportunity to shine.

Two-try hero Andrew Muirhead, who came off the bench to huge effect in South America, retains his place, looking to add to his impressive display against the Jaguares. The Brumbies have a nine-point lead at the top of the Australian Conference heading into the match with three rounds remaining. 

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Leslie Leulua'Iali'I-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Muirhead, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Date: Saturday, June 3
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.45 (09.45 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28