Brumbies blow as Pocock ruled out of Stormers clash
Cape Town - Flank Jahrome Brown will make his first start for the Brumbies as they begin their Super Rugby two-match tour with a fixture against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 15:05 (SA time).
The inclusion of Brown is the only change to the starting XV that defeated the Lions 31-20 in Canberra last weekend, with Murray Douglas and Wharenui Hawera being included on the bench.
Loose forward David Pocock, who is with the squad in Cape Town, has not yet fully recovered from a calf strain.
Other than that, head coach Dan McKellar sticks with the same squad that clinically dispatched the Lions with a five-try performance that delighted the home support and made it three wins in succession at their host venue.
It’s been a tough year on the road for the Brumbies though, who’ve yet to pick up a win away from Canberra, but confidence is high in the camp ahead of the clash with the Stormers, who come into the match off a terrific win in Melbourne against the Rebels last weekend.
Brown will pack down in a mobile and physical back-row alongside Tom Cusack and Pete Samu with the front-five bringing a wealth of experience, with the all-Wallaby front-row of Allan Alaalatoa, Scott Sio and Folau Fainga’a aided by Rory Arnold and Sam Carter at lock.
The backs will be out to maintain the excellent form they showed against the Lions with Joe Powell and Christian Lealiifano pulling the strings at halfback, allowing Tom Wright and Tevita Kuridrani to expose any frailties in the Stormers midfield.
Out-wide, wings Henry Speight and Toni Pulu are supported by Tom Banks, the latter pair both crossing for tries against the Lions and helping the team beat 41 defenders collectively, the team’s highest recorded tally since 2011.
There was huge impact from the bench in Round 9 and the finishers in Cape Town will be aiming to repeat that when called upon with Josh Mann-Rea, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin and James Slipper sure to have prominent roles to play.
Darcy Swain is in line to continue his nascent Super Rugby career with Scottish-born Douglas the other forward option. Scrumhalf Matt Lucas, Hawera and Andy Muirhead complete the match-day squad who last visited Cape Town in 2016.
The Brumbies’ record in South Africa in recent years has been good with the team recording five wins from their last seven matches in the Republic, scoring 25 points or more in four of those victories.
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Tom Wright, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Les Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead