Brumbies make five changes for Lions
Cape Town - Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has made five changes to the team for the visit of the high-flying Lions to GIO Stadium on Friday evening in Round 12 of the Super Rugby competition.
Ben Alexander, Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler, Kyle Godwin and Aidan Toua all return to the line-up for the challenge of the in-form South African franchise and 2016 Super Rugby Finalists.
Godwin makes a return from the hand injury suffered in the thrashing of the Reds at GIO Stadium and comes back into the side at inside centre, re-forming what was becoming a burgeoning partnership with Tevita Kuridrani.
At full-back Toua is recalled into the number 15 shirt in place of Tom Banks, who steps down to the bench, one of three back options amongst the replacements alongside scrum-half De Wet Roos and utility back Jordan Jackson-Hope, who crossed for a hat-trick of tries for Tuggeranong Vikings on Saturday.
There are a trio of changes up front with the experienced prop Alexander set to claim his 139th Brumbies cap as he closes in on the record held by George Smith, which stands at 142.
A new-look back-row takes to the field on Friday with Smiler and Butler packing down alongside Scott Fardy in a mobile and physical combination with the aim to nullify the attacking edge that the Lions have in their forward unit.
Ben Hyne comes onto the bench for the contest with the rest of the forward replacements the same as the team which was narrowly beaten by the Blues a fortnight ago.
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Ben Hyne, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Tom Banks
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Corne Fourie
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Robert Kruger/Cyle Brink, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink