Brumbies beef up with Wallaby prop Sio
Brumbies beef up with Wallaby prop SioSHARE
Wallaby international prop Scott Sio has recovered from injury and is named in the frontrow in place of Ben Alexander whilst flank Lolo Fakaosilea, who enjoyed a lively cameo off the bench in Brisbane, is included from the start as Tom Cusack is named as a replacement.
Other than that, it’s the same team that took to the field in their defeat to the Reds at Suncorp Stadium with Josh Mann-Rea and Allan Alaalatoa joining Sio in the frontrow with Sam Carter, captaining the team, and Rory Arnold packing down behind them.
The backrow features Fakaosilea, Lachlan McCaffrey and Isi Naisarani, the latter at number eight and hoping to add to his maiden Brumbies try scored late in the piece last week.
The backline has a familiar look to it as Joe Powell and Christian Lealiifano continue their halfback partnership, with Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani offering pace and presence in midfield.
Out wide, the speedy Henry Speight and Chance Peni will be looking for more ball in hand and space to exploit with hard-running fullback Tom Banks completing the starting XV.
Whilst the starting side might not show many changes, there are three new faces on the bench this weekend as McKellar rotates his finishers for the Brumbies third away match in succession.
Two of those changes are in the front row replacements, as Folau Fainga’a gets the opportunity for a possible first cap with Faalelei Sione drafted back into the matchday twenty-three alongside Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin.
Richie Arnold, who became a father last week, is recalled to the squad in place of Blake Enever as McKellar rotates his world-class batch of locks with Cusack completing the forwards in a five-three split. The replacement backs see Andy Muirhead selected for the first time in 2018, alongside Matt Lucas and Wharenui Hawera.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Lolo Fakaosilea, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead
Date: Friday March 9
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.45 local (08.45 GMT)
Referee: William Houston (Australia)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)