200 caps return to bolster UC Brumbies

The University of Canberra Brumbies have called in the cavalry with six highly experienced players returning for Friday’s do or die match with the Force. 

Pat McCabe, Matt Toomua, Tom McVerry, Josh Mann-Rea, Sam Carter and Joe Tomane have all been included in the match-day 23 providing the UC Brumbies with world class talent to chase a spot in the competition’s top six. 

Nic White will line up for his 50th cap with the UC Brumbies while Ben Mowen equals George Gregan’s record 49 caps as Captain. 

At the ripe old age of 33 Mann-Rea has earned his debut start at hooker, with Ruaidhri Murphy included on the bench and Luke Holmes shifting out of the match-day 23. Sam Carter will partner Leon Power at lock shifting Scott Fardy to blind-side flanker, with McVerry partnering Fotu Auelua on the bench as back up loose forwards. 

Tomane and McCabe will also be used as impact players from the bench after recovering from facial and shoulder injuries, respectively. 

“It’s nice to have some more experience back in the pack and on our bench this week,” Captain Ben Mowen said on Thursday. 

“The Force presents us with a huge challenge. Since 2006 this is their best chance at playing finals rugby and we need to be able to lift past that to get a result. 

“We haven’t looked at bonus points or anything past this week. The situation for us is if we beat the Force then we advance. You can’t start looking any further ahead than Friday night.” 

The winner of Friday night’s clash will secure a spot in the Finals with several likely scenarios which could assure a home final. Results and bonus points considered there is a mathematical chance for the loser to advance. 

The final game of the regular season has traditionally provided a stumbling block for the UC Brumbies, the Canberra based side has won just once since 2005. That occasion was in 2007 against the lowly Highlanders, leaving the UC Brumbies with a significant challenge to overcome on Friday night. 
Friday, 11 July, 2014
UC Brumbies v Force 
GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 7.40pm
Referee: Steve Walsh

UC Brumbies 
1. Scott Sio
2. Josh Mann-Rea
3. Ben Alexander 
4. Sam Carter
5. Leon Power  
6. Scott Fardy 
7. Jarrad Butler
8. Ben Mowen ©
9. Nic White
10. Matt Toomua  
11. Clyde Rathbone
12. Christian Lealiifano  
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg

16. Ruaidhri Murphy
17. Ruan Smith     
18. JP Smith
19. Fotu Auelua
20. Tom McVerry  
21. Michael Dowsett
22. Joe Tomane
23. Pat McCabe