Brumbies unchanged for Sharks
Cape Town - The Brumbies have named an unchanged side for their Super Rugby clash against the Sharks in Canberra on Saturday.
Head coach Stephen Larkham keeps faith with the 23-man squad which narrowly lost to the Crusaders in Christchurch, meaning that four from the starting XV will make their home debut.
Scrumhalf Joe Powell will continue in the playmaking role at No 9, while alongside Powell, Wharenui Hawera will make his GIO Stadium bow with the New Zealand-born flyhalf hoping to continue where he left off in Round 1 - his 100 percent kicking success from the tee almost leading the Brumbies to what would have been an upset victory.
Up front, flank Chris Alcock, another who will make his maiden bow in front of the home supporters, could be key to the Brumbies hopes of a win. The former Force and Waratahs loosie secured four turnovers in Round 1, the most of any player in any game.
The battle of the front rows should be an absorbing contest as well with Wallaby star Allan Alaalatoa coming up against South African Tendai Mtawarira, with the scrum battle set to be extremely important in setting any foundations for dominant possession.
Discipline could be key, with Sharks Pat Lambie a deadly presence with the boot. As such the Brumbies defence, which was led by an outstanding Scott Fardy against the Crusaders, will need to be at their most vigilant and decisive best. Fardy continues in the backrow alongside Alcock and Jordan Smiler.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 10:45 (SA time).
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 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch