Team named to face the Chiefs

The University of Canberra Brumbies have named their team to face the Chiefs with several changes to the side which beat the Cheetahs in Canberra last Saturday afternoon.

Matt Toomua was forced out of the team with a knee injury, opening space for Christian Lealiifano to make his first appearance in the No 10 jersey for 2012. He will be partnered by Joe Tomane at inside-centre and Ian Prior at scrumhalf, who will make their run-on debuts at Baypark, Mt Maunganui.

Pat McCabe has been named on the wing for consecutive weeks, while rookies Cam Crawford and Zack Holmes have been given the nod for bench spots. Crawford was a late inclusion in the University of Canberra Brumbies touring squad after outside back, Tevita Kuridrani, was unable to fly because of passport problems.

The other notable change was in the loose forwards, with Michael Hooper being named at open-side flanker and Scott Fardy at blind-side flanker. For Hooper it’s his first start of the 2012 season, while Fardy is set for his Super Rugby run-on debut following two powerful displays against the Cheetahs and the Force. Hooper has forced Ita Vaea back to the bench.

Along with Vaea, Sam Carter has moved to the bench, shifting Leon Power into the starting side where he will be partnered in the second row by Peter Kimlin.

The change in the University of Canberra Brumbies lock stocks has moved Ben Hand out of the side.

Head Coach Jake White said his team would need to execute better than in their previous two games if they were to come away from New Zealand with a win.

“While we’ve been happy to get the wins, which were two hard fought games of rugby, we are under no illusions that it will take a bigger effort to come back to Australia with a win against the Chiefs,” White said.

“Against the Force we knew their game was going to be forward-based and against the Cheetahs we were focussed on their backs, but the Chiefs have that consistency across the park which means we will have to be across everything they are doing.

“We’ve been forced into a few changes around that 10 jersey with Toomua out, but Christian has plenty of experience and after his man of the match effort against the Cheetahs we aren’t losing anything there.

“The Chiefs are on a roll, they’ve beaten the Blues and the Crusaders so we are well aware of how difficult this weekend will be.”

Chiefs v University of Canberra Brumbies
Friday, 16 March
Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui, Tauranaga
Kick-off: 5.35pm (AEDT)
Referee: Ian Smith

University of Canberra Brumbies

1.    Ben Alexander
2.    Stephen Moore
3.    Dan Palmer
4.    Leon Power
5.    Peter Kimlin
6.    Scott Fardy
7.    Michael Hooper
8.    Ben Mowen
9.    Ian Prior
10.    Christian Lealiifano
11.    Henry Speight
12.    Joe Tomane
13.    Andrew Smith
14.    Pat McCabe
15.    Jesse Mogg

16.    Anthony Hegarty
17.    Ruaidhri Murphy
18.    Sam Carter
19.    Ita Vaea
20.    Nic White
21.    Zack Holmes
22.    Cam Crawford

Head Coach: Jake White
Forwards Coach: Laurie Fisher
Backs Coach: Stephen Larkham
Team Manager: Tony Thorpe