Auelua set to wrestle Sharks

    2013-03-15 11:27
    Sydney - Brumbies coach Jake White wants Fotu Auelua to have a devastating impact in his first starting appearance of the season on Saturday in South Africa.

    White has shown confidence in his squad's depth by making five changes to the starting XV for the clash with the Sharks.

    Auelua, Scott Sio, Joseph Tomane and Tevita Kuridrani have been injected into the line-up for the biggest test of the Brumbies' year to date.

    Unbeaten this season, if the Brumbies defeat the Sharks at Kings Park, they will set a new record for the most consecutive wins away from home in the competition's 18 years.

    Auelua gets his chance at No 8 after a forward-pack reshuffle. It was the two-game tour of South Africa last year which launched his Super Rugby career.

    ''Last year he had a massive impact in South Africa and he hadn't even had a proper pre-season,'' White said of the 29-year-old, 115-kilogram forward. ''Now he's in the best shape he's been in for a long, long time. I can see there's a spring in Fotu's step. He can have that same impact … straight away for us over here. The Sharks are a physical side and Fotu has shown everyone how powerful he can be.''

    There are plenty of changes in the Brumbies' line-up as they aim for a fourth consecutive win to start their campaign. Dan Palmer has been given the week off with Sio starting at loose-head prop, Ben Alexander moving to tight-head and Ruaidhri Murphy joining the bench.

    Hooker Stephen Moore is carrying a niggling back injury, but the Wallabies star will play. Scott Fardy has been rotated to the reserves list with Peter Kimlin and Sam Carter taking the starting second-row duties.

    Ben Mowen moves to blindside breakaway to accommodate for Auelua's injection at the back of the scrum. George Smith reclaims the No 7 jersey for the first time since 2010, with David Pocock needing a knee reconstruction.

    In the back line, Tomane gets his chance on the wing. Kuridrani starts at outside-centre.

    It's the biggest overhaul this season with White making just two changes to his starting XV in the first three games.

    Read More On:  brumbies jake white rugby

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