3/27/2014

Kuridrani, Lealiifano back for Rebels clash


The UC Brumbies have made just one change to their staring side which beat the Stormers last weekend, with Tevita Kuridrani named at outside centre after a week off for a family funeral.

Kuridrani’s inclusion pushes Andrew Smith to the bench, where he is joined by Christian Lealiifano for his first appearance in a UC Brumbies jersey this season.

Lealiifano has spent the last five months in rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on his ankle to adjust problems associated with his last reconstruction in 2012.

With Lionel Cronje, Stephan van der Walt and Michael Dowsett dropping off the bench, Smith, Lealiifano and Conrad Hoffmann have all been named as impact players.

Head Coach Stephen Larkham said the team had spent the week preparing for a fierce local derby against a Melbourne side with its season on the line.

“This week had been about getting the players physically right, we’ve had a couple of really bruising encounters over the last couple of weeks so this week has been nice and light,” Larkham said.

“We’ve spoken about being one of the best teams in the competition, and the best teams in the competition win every week. It means being consistent every week, playing good rugby every week and that’s certainly something we are focussing on.

“They’ve got some really powerful players right across the board. Their outside backs are big and physical, I guess it’s up to us to handle that as best we can and play our own game around that.”

The UC Brumbies have won five of six encounters between the two clubs, with the Rebels only win over the Canberra-based club coming the first time the teams met in round two of 2011. It was the Rebels first ever win as a club.

Nic White needs just 17 points to push his career tally to 100, while Jesse Mogg and Robbie Coleman battle it out to be the UC Brumbies highest try-scorer with both players currently on four a piece.




Friday, 26 March
UC Brumbies v Rebels
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 7.40pm
Referee: Jaco Peyper

UC Brumbies
1. JP Smith
2. Stephen Moore
3. Ben Alexander
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Jordan Smiler
7. Jarrad Butler
8. Ben Mowen ©
9. Nic White
10. Matt Toomua
11. Robbie Coleman
12. Pat McCabe
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Joe Tomane
15. Jesse Mogg

Replacements
16. Siliva Siliva
17. Ruan Smith
18. Ruaidhri Murphy
19. Jack Whetton
20. Lachlan McCaffrey
21. Conrad Hoffmann
22. Andrew Smith
23. Christian Lealiifano