Thu 13 Jul 2017 | 08:43

Twelve changes, as Brumbies 'rest' stars

Full press conference: Jordan Jackson-Hope
Thu 13 Jul 2017 | 08:43

Twelve changes, as Brumbies 'rest' stars

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Only wing Henry Speight, flyhalf Wharenui Hawera and flank Scott Fardy remain from the side that went down by a point at Suncorp Stadium.

Coach Stephen Larkham has decided to take the opportunity to rest some players ahead of the quarterfinal on 21 July.

A new-look front row sees Nic Mayhew and Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin propping either side of hooker Robbie Abel, whilst Tom Staniforth and Blake Enever combine in the second row.

Fardy will captain the side from flank in a back row that also includes Jarrad Butler, who had a stint at centre in the Reds fixture, and a return to the starting XV for robust No.8 Lolo Fakaosilea.

Behind the scrum there is a first start of the season for Argentinean scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli, who will link up with Kiwi flyhalf Hawera, making a return to his home-town – having been born in Hamilton.

Andrew Smith and Nigel Ah Wong will form a potentially strong midfield, with Speight joined in the back-three by the returning James Dargaville and Jordan Jackson-Hope, the latter starting the match at fullback.

Larkham has opted for six forwards amongst the replacements with Wallaby international prop Scott Sio named along with Brumby record-cap holder Ben Alexander and veteran hooker Josh Mann-Rea as the front row changes.

There's plenty of mobility in the shape of Ben Hyne, Tom Cusack and Jordan Smiler with scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan offered a first opportunity of the season and Tom Banks rounding out the bench.

Brumbies: 15 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Nigel Ah Wong, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Lolo Fakaosilea, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy (captain), 5 Blake Enever, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Leslie Leulua'iali'i-Makin, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Ben Hyne, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Jordan Smiler, 22 Ryan Lonergan, 23 Tom Banks.

Date: Saturday, July 15
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 AEST; 05.15 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Richard Kelly (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

PV: 2
Twelve Changes, As Brumbies 'rest' Stars | Rugby365