White backs 'diluted' Brumbies
White backs 'diluted' BrumbiesSHARE
The Brumbies made eight changes to their 22-man squad – including five to the starting 15 – to take on the Rebels at Canberra Stadium on Friday.
With the absence of five Wallaby players and a shoulder dislocation to Fotu Auelua, the Brumbies have re-jigged the forward pack to include Leon Power at lock, Scott Fardy at blindside flank and Peter Kimlin at No.8.
Siliva Siliva will start at hooker and Dan Palmer returns to the starting side at tighthead prop.
Also returning to the starting side is Wallaby Pat McCabe at inside centre in place of Christian Lealiifano.
Clyde Rathbone slides onto Joe Tomane's wing and the rest of last week's backline remains intact.
The bench includes first time Brumby Josh Mann-Rea as hooker back-up, Etienne Oosthuizen at lock and Zack Holmes in jersey No.22.
Coach Jake White said the side was good enough to cement the franchise's top-of-the-log standings, but would need to dig deep for a result at Canberra Stadium on Friday.
"The Wallaby call-ups have forced quite a few changes, but the guys we have selected have been involved with the squad for a year now and know their jobs," White said.
"It's comforting to be able to bring in proven Wallabies like Clyde [Rathbone] and Pat [McCabe].
"We'll be looking for plenty of involvement from both of those guys.
"The Rebels have proven over the last month they are a genuine threat. Last week they had the Reds under the pump for 90 percent of the match so we are fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead."
As announced earlier in the week, Nic White becomes the Brumbies 12th and youngest Captain when he leads the side out against the Rebels.
White made his first appearance at Canberra Stadium in this corresponding fixture two years ago and will be looking to make it 3-0 against Melbourne in Canberra on Friday.
This is the sixth time the Brumbies have taken on the Rebels, with the ACT-based side winning the last four.
The last time the two sides met was in round two this year when the Brumbies walked away 30-13 winners.
The Rebels have adjusted their play since then and will pose a much more threatening proposition for the ACT based side on Friday.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White (captain), 8 Peter Kimlin, 7 Colby Faingaa, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Leon Power, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Siliva Siliva, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Zack Holmes.
Date: Friday, June 7
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.40 GMT)
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)