Unchanged starting side to face Crusaders

The University of Canberra Brumbies have made just one change to the side which defeated the Chiefs last weekend, with Ruaidhri Murphy coming onto the bench for JP Smith.

After being ruled out during the warm up last week, Siliva Siliva is again outside the match-day 23, with Josh Mann-Rea to take the back-up hooking spot and jersey number 16.

With the UC Brumbies squad now stabilizing after an early spread of injuries, Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher and Head Coach Stephen Larkham have been able to name an unchanged starting side for the fifth time this year.

The last time the UC Brumbies defeated the Crusaders in Christchurch was 2000, the same year the Cantabrians knocked over the ACT-based side in the Final.

“Playing the Crusaders away is a big challenge for everyone, we haven’t had a very good record over there and no-one in this side has ever beaten the Crusaders in New Zealand,” Larkham said.

“They’ve had three-straight wins now, including two in Africa which is never easy. After a shaky start to the season they’ve found some form and will be further boosted by the return of Richie McCaw.

“We’ve been building over the last three years, not just against the Crusaders, but at rising to challenges and overcoming those challenges. Our attack is much better today than what is has been and we feel internally like we are a better side than we have been over the last couple of years.”

The UC Brumbies head into the clash two wins ahead of the eighth-placed Crusaders, whose last three scalps include the Chiefs, Cheetahs and Lions. Last week they had a bye, giving champion flanker Richie McCaw and extra seven days to be fit and ready for the UC Brumbies clash.

Saturday, 3 May, 2014
Crusaders v UC Brumbies
AMI Park, Christchurch
Kick-off: 4.35pm (2.35pm AEST)
Referee: Glen Jackson

UC Brumbies

1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore
3. Ben Alexander       
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter    
6. Jordan Smiler
7. Jarrad Butler
8. Ben Mowen (C)
9. Nic White
10. Matt Toomua
11. Robbie Coleman
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Joe Tomane
15. Jesse Mogg

16. Josh Mann-Rea
17. Ruan Smith
18. Ruaidhri Murphy
19. Jack Whetton    
20. Tom McVerry
21. Michael Dowsett
22. Andrew Smith
23. Pat McCabe