Cape Town – Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has named an unchanged side for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Stormers at Newlands (19:15 kick-off).
The Brumbies defeated the Western Force 31-14 in Perth last Friday before travelling to Cape Town ahead of this weekend’s match against the Stormers.
Scott Sio, Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander will pack down in the Brumbies front row hoping to continue their strong form from the opening three rounds. Moore has scored two tries and currently leads the competition in successful lineout throws with 35 successful throws from 38 attempts.
Packing in as locks will be Rory Arnold and Sam Carter. They will be looking to stop the dangerous Eben Etzebeth who has won 23 lineouts this year, including six steals (best in Super Rugby).
In the backrow will be Scott Fardy, David Pocock and Jarrad Butler. Pocock re-signed with the Brumbies this week on a new deal which will keep him with the franchise until at least the end of 2019.
The Brumbies backline remains unchanged for a fourth straight week. Tomas Cubelli will start at scrumhalf, while co-captain Christian Lealiifano will start at flyhalf. Lealiifano is currently second on the competition’s point-scoring list with 43.
Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani will start in the centres, Aidan Toua at fullback while Henry Speight and Joe Tomane remain on the wing. Tomane currently leads Super Rugby in clean breaks with nine.
In an unchanged bench, Josh Mann-Rea, Allan Alaalatoa and Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin will be looking to make an impact while Tom Staniforth stays in the side following a strong performance last week against the Force. Jordan Smiler, Michael Dowsett, Robbie Coleman and Nigel Ah Wong have also been named in the Match Day 23.
The last time these two sides met was in last year’s quarter-final playoff at Newlands. On that occasion Joe Tomane scored a hat-trick as the Brumbies ran away 39-19 winners. The Stormers won earlier in the 2015 season, also at Newlands, in a gripping 25-24 affair.
The Stormers have won three of the last four regular season encounters between the two sides and aside from last year’s knockout game, haven’t lost to the Brumbies on home soil since 2010.
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Robbie Coleman, 23 Nigel Ah Wong