Wallabies prop James Slipper has been named in the Brumbies‘ starting line-up to take on his former team, the Reds, in Brisbane on Sunday.
Slipper, the Super Rugby centurion, will line up alongside Folau Fainga’a and Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, with Fainga’a on the verge of breaking a long-standing Brumbies try-scoring record.
Should the hooker find the try-line again this weekend, he will become the first Brumby in Super Rugby history to score in six successive matches, and only the second forward, following the Lions’ Malcolm Marx, to achieve the feat.
The inclusion of Slipper, who rotates roles with Wallabies international Scott Sio, is one of two changes made by Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar from the team that retained the Vickerman Cup with a 19-13 success over the Waratahs at GIO Stadium last Friday.
The second change to the team sees Wallaby Pete Samu restored to the starting line-up, joining a back-row trio of Tom Cusack and Lachlan McCaffrey, the latter of which was the ACT side’s top performer in the gutsy, and crucial, success over the Waratahs.
Other than that, it is as you were as the Brumbies look to gain a victory at a stadium which has traditionally proved to be a tough hunting ground for the team from Canberra.
The reserves include a potential debut for back-row Jahrome Brown with the ex-Waikato flanker named amongst the substitutes with McKellar preferring to go with a six-two split amongst his finishers, Jordan Jackson-Hope and Matt Lucas, who was outstanding for the Runners against Waratahs ‘A’, covering the back positions.
Blake Enever returns to the squad and can cover the lock or backrow positions along with Murray Douglas whilst Sio, Tom Ross, in line for a second cap, and Josh Mann-Rea complete the forward replacements.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Lausii Taliauli, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Jordan Jackson-Hope
Date: Sunday, March 24 Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Kick-off: 15:05 local (05:05 GMT) Referee: Paul Williams (Australia) Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa),Jaco Peyper (South Africa) Television match official: Ian Smith (Australia)
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