50-up for Brumbies' Smiler
Cape Town - Back-row Jordan Smiler will make his 50th appearance for the Brumbies when they take on the Highlanders in Canberra on Saturday.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has made five changes to the starting line-up who will be looking to increase their lead at the top of the Australian Conference with a third straight win.
There are recalls for prop Nic Mayhew, flanker Chris Alcock and winger James Dargaville, whilst hooker Robbie Abel, in for the injured Josh Mann-Rea, and second row Blake Enever make their first starts of the season.
Enever comes in for Rory Arnold who drops to the bench alongside Ben Alexander and Lolo Fakaosilea from the side that defeated the Waratahs 28-12 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Larkham opts for a 6-2 split amongst the replacements with Tom Staniforth coming in for Ben Hyne and Andrew Smith dropping out of the matchday 23. There are also first appearances for hooker Saia Fainga’a and prop Scott Sio as the Brumbies flex their squad strength.
Mayhew and Abel line up alongside Allan Alaalatoa in the front row whilst Enever partners Sam Carter at lock. The return of Alcock means the back row reverts to the trio that started the campaign with Scott Fardy at blindside flank and Smiler at number eight.
The backs have a more settled look with half-backs Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera combining for the fifth straight fixture whilst the only change from the Waratahs success sees Dargaville back on the left wing in place of Nigel Ah Wong.
Henry Speight lines up on the opposite wing, having scored four tries in four matches so far in the 2017 Super Rugby competition, outside of the centre-pairing of Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani who are slowly forming into a potent combination. Aidan Toua continues at full-back.
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 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Nic Mayhew
Substitutes: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Scot
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Patelesio Tomkinson, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Matt Faddes
t Sio, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Lolo Fakaosilea, 22 De Wet Roos, 23 Jordan Jackson-Hope