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The ACT XV has named its team to face the UC Brumbies on Saturday night with a fully contracted front row leading the way.
In what shapes as one of the best teams the ACT XV has ever fielded, the majority of the 28-man squad has trained or played with the UC Brumbies during the last six months.
JP Smith (loose-head prop), Josh Mann-Rea (hooker) and Allan Alaalatoa (tight-head prop) lead the forwards up front, while Dave McKern and Tom Staniforth will contest the line-outs from lock.
Queenstown tourists Michael Smith (open-side flanker) and Tim Cree (blind-side flanker) have been joined by Ben McGee (No. 8) in the back row, with Conrad Hoffmann filling the No. 9 jersey and Isaac Thompson playing 10.
Further out Matt Hawke and Mitch Connolly make up the centres, with Drew Southwell (wing), Jerome Niumata (wing) and Ben Johnston (fullback) filling the back three.
Head Coach Craig Robberds said he was pleased with the way the team trained on Monday and was looking forward to facing off against the contracted team on Saturday.
“We had a good session in the heat on Monday, so hopefully that has conditioned us a bit for the high temperatures predicted on Saturday afternoon,” Robberds said.
“Most of these guys have played and trained together a fair bit over the last couple of years which is only going to have a positive impact on the way we can train and play.
“Our guys are lucky enough to get a full crack at the Australian Champions and I would think they’ll be pretty keen to make the most of that opportunity.”
With free entry and balmy summer conditions on offer for Saturday’s trial match, the ACT XV are asking for a big home crowd to turn up and support the local boys when they take on the Australian champions.
The UC Brumbies side will be named on Thursday morning.
ACT XV v UC Brumbies
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Viking Park, Wanniassa
1. JP Smith (Queanbeyan Whites)
2. Josh Mann-Rea (Gungahlin Eagles)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (Uni-North Owls)
4. Dave McKern (Western District)
5. Tom Staniforth (Canberra Royals)
6. Tim Cree (Tuggeranong Vikings)
7. Michael Smith (Western District)
8. Ben McGee (Gungahlin Eagles)
9. Conrad Hoffmann (Gungahlin Eagles)
10. Isaac Thompson (Tuggeranong Vikings)
11. Jerome Niumata (Tuggeranong Vikings)
12. Matt Hawke (Gungahlin Eagles)
13. Mitch Connolly (Gungahlin Eagles)
14. Drew Southwell (Western District)
15. Ben Johnson (Canberra Royals)
16. Patricio Noreiga (Gungahlin Eagles)
17. Carl Elliott (Western District)
18. JP Pradaud (Tuggeranong Vikings)
19. Gareth Clouston (Tuggeranong Vikings)
20. Michael Stolberg (Queanbeyan Whites)
21. Xavier Duffy (Gungahlin Eagles)
22. Sam Latunipulu (Queanbeyan Whites)
23. Jono Naoupu (Eastern Suburbs)
24. Eden Campbell-O’Brien (Uni-North Owls)
25. Pedro Rolando (Canberra Royals)
26. Altus Momsen (Queanbeyan Whites)
27. HP Momsen (Queanbeyan Whites)
28. Jack Pinchin (Western District)
Coach: Craig Robberds
Asst.Coach: Wayne Southwell
Manager: Bob Brady
Physio: Dan Fasch
Trainer: Darren Clunn
Trainer: Ray Reavley