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    Brumbies back young lock ahead of Christchurch trip

    2019-04-04 08:36

    Canberra - Young lock Darcy Swain will start his first Super Rugby match as Brumbies head to Christchurch to tackle the Crusaders on Saturday.

    Kick-off is at 06:15 (SA time).

    Twenty-one-year-old Swain, who recently signed a new three-year contract to keep him at the Brumbies until at least the end of the 2022 campaign, is one of five new faces in the starting XV for what is sure to be an emotionally charged evening in New Zealand.

    Those changes include the return to action of jet-heeled winger Toni Pulu, who will be keen to get his Brumbies career off to a belated start, after his debut against the Rebels in Round 1 was truncated by a fractured cheekbone.

    With Scott Sio, Folau Fainga’a and Rory Arnold rested as part of the Wallabies Rugby World Cup planning, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has selected veteran hooker Josh Mann-Rea for his first start of the 2019 season, in a front row that sees the return of Allan Alaalatoa alongside James Slipper.

    Murray Douglas also begins a Super Rugby match in Brumbies colours for the first time, in a second-row partnership with Swain, with the backrow identical to the one that played against the Reds in Brisbane, Lachlan McCaffrey at No 8, flanked by Tom Cusack and Pete Samu.

    The backline, with the exception of the returning Pulu, remains the same as the team that took the field at Suncorp Stadium, Christian Lealiifano leading the side as captain for the 36th time.

    On the bench, there is a potential debut for prop Vunipola Fifita who shone in the Canberra Vikings side that reached the semi-finals of the National Rugby Championships last year and in Brumbies Runners fixtures in 2019.

    Hooker Connal McInerney also joins the reserves for the first time in 2019, along with backs Matt Lucas, Jordan Jackson-Hope and wing Andy Muirhead.

    Teams:

    Crusaders

    15 David Havili, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd (captain), 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

    Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Faingaanuku

    Brumbies

    15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Murray Douglas, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 James Slipper

    Substitutes: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Vunipola Fifita, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Jahrome Brown, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Andy Muirhead

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    Saturday, 20 April 2019
    • Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
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