Brumbies make 4 changes for Sharks quarter-final
Cape Town - Brumbies coach Dan McKeller has named his team for Saturday’s Super Rugby quarter-final against the Sharks in Canberra.
McKellar has made four changes to the team that defeated the Reds 40-27 last week, with Henry Speight passed fit to reclaim the right wing spot.
Toni Pulu returns to the left wing forming a potent back three alongside Tom Banks.
The other two changes are in the backrow where Tom Cusack and Pete Samu return to the starting XV alongside Rob Valetini, with loose forwards Lachlan McCaffrey and Jahrome Brown providing power and impact from the bench.
The nucleus of the pack that has been the benchmark for the Super Rugby competition in 2019 is retained with the all-international front row of Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa packing down with the Brumbies' leading try-scorer, Folau Fainga’a, the hooker having claimed eleven tries this season.
Christian Lealiifano will win his 149th Super Rugby cap leading the team for the 47th time, equalling the mark set by George Gregan, with the gifted playmaker also closing in on 950 Super Rugby points.
McKellar has opted for six forwards on the bench, adding Darcy Swain into the finishers with the front row substitutes being Connal McInerney, James Slipper and Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, the latter running out for his 49th Super Rugby appearance.
Matt Lucas makes a return to the match-day 23 as one of two backline replacements, together with utility Tom Wright who crossed for his third try of the season in the win over the Reds.
The Brumbies have won six games in succession and have not lost a match at home since February.
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 12:05 (SA time).
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12
Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8
Pete Samu, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3
Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga'a, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18
Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21
Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Tom Wright
Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11
Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8
Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4
Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo
Substitutes: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18
Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron
Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith