Despite a front-row crisis of sorts at the Rebels and a few positional changes for both sides and Jake White rotating some of his first choice players this game is shaping up to be a cracker.
Week 3: Win, 24-23 v Cheetahs, Canberra
Week 4: Loss, 29-22 v Chiefs, Hamilton
Week 5: Win, 33-26 v Sharks, Canberra
Week 6: Loss, 29-26 v Sharks, Canberra
Week 7: Loss, 20-13 v Reds, Brisbane
Week 3: Loss, 11-6 v Reds, Brisbane
Week 4: Loss, 33-26 v Cheetahs, Melbourne
Week 5: Win, 30-29 v Force, Melbourne
Week 6: Loss, 43-12 v Highlanders, Invercargill
Week 7: Win, 34-23 v Blues, Melbourne
Brumbies 1. Ruadhri Murphy, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Dan Palmer, 4. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Ben Mowen, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Fotu Auelua, 9. Nic White, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Joe Tomane, 12. Pat McCabe, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Jesse Mogg.
Reserves: 16. Anthony Hegarty, 17. Ben Alexander, 18. Peter Kimlin, 19. Ita Vaea, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Robbie Coleman, 22. Andrew Smith.
Rebels 1. Nic Henderson, 2. Ged Robinson, 3. Rodney Blake, 4. Al Campbell, 5. Hugh Pyle, 6. Luke Jones, 7. Jarrod Saffy, 8. Gareth Delve (c), 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Danny Cipriani, 11. Mark Gerrard, 12. James O’Connor, 13. Mitch Inman, 14. Lachlan Mitchell, 15. Kurtley Beale.
Reserves: 16. Luke Holmes, 17. Eddie Aholelei, 18. Michael Lipman, 19. Tim Davidson, 20. Richard Kingi, 21. Julian Huxley, 22. Lloyd Johansson.
REFEREE: Craig Joubert
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jake White is finally happy with the conditioning and fitness of his monster recruit eighth man Fotu Auelua. The skilled 190cm 120kg behemoth has already been touted as having all the attributes of Toutai Kefu by Eddie Jones and Brumbie’s fans are looking forward to his debut. Dynamite open-sider Michael Hooper returns to menace the break-down and 196cm 105kg 20 year Tevita Kuridrani makes his first start at outside centre. White’s bench reads as his first choice players as he rotates his players before the trip to RSA.
Injuries to props Laurie Weeks and Paul Alo-Emile sees Rodney Blake remain at tight-head a position he clearly doesn’t enjoy and 20 yr old development player Eddie Aholelei move to the bench. It’s going to be interesting to see whether tackling machine Jarrod Saffy can thwart Hooper from his new position at 7 and how young fire-brand lock Luke Jones fares at 6. Obviously O’Connor and Beale remain the players to watch in the backs.
These two teams have met twice with each winning their respective home games.