Team named to circle Sharks

The University of Canberra Brumbies have named their team to face the Sharks this Saturday at Canberra Stadium.

Two noticeable changes to the team have given it a slightly different feel to the one which beat the Highlanders last weekend.

Dan Palmer is being rested, with Ruaidhri Murphy earning his first start at loose-head prop. Ben Alexander will wear Palmer’s regular No. 3 jersey having amassed more than 30 caps for the Wallabies at tight-head prop since 2008.

“Murphy has been one of the squad’s strongest trainers since he joined the group back in August,” Head Coach Jake White said.

“With Dan having a break this weekend, we’ve been lucky enough to bring in a player with plenty of potential and a good skill set like Ruaidhri.

“On the bench we are playing Scott Sio, a young man who earns his first 22-man selection. Scott is a big, strong front-rower and it’s a pleasure to be able to hand him his first Brumbies jersey this weekend.

“We lose nothing with Benny A playing tight-head, he’s the Wallabies incumbent and I look forward to seeing him in the No. 3 jersey again.”

In the backs, Matt Toomua has returned from a knee injury and will slot back in at fly-half. He has pushed the rest of the backline out, with Christian Lealiifano playing inside-centre and Pat McCabe on the wing.

Joe Tomane will be used as an impact player from the bench.

“Matt is a very professional member of our squad. His diligent recovery and rehab work have helped him return quickly after his knee injury against the Cheetahs,” White said.

“The Sharks have had a bit of disruption at fly-half with Frederick Michalak being named at 10. Marking up on a player of Michalak’s experience is going to be a challenge but we are sure Matt is up to it.”

With Tomane moving back to the bench the only other change is Tevita Kuridrani who has dropped out of the 22.

This weekend the University of Canberra Brumbies are helping celebrate Earth Hour by participating in ActewAGL’s promotional activities.

For more information on Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org.

Saturday, 31 March
University of Canberra Brumbies v Sharks
Canberra Stadium, Bruce
Kick-off: 7.40pm
Referee: Keith Brown

University of Canberra Brumbies
1.    Ruaidhri Murphy
2.    Stephen Moore
3.    Ben Alexander
4.    Leon Power
5.    Sam Carter
6.    Peter Kimlin
7.    Michael Hooper
8.    Ben Mowen
9.    Ian Prior
10.    Matt Toomua
11.    Henry Speight
12.    Christian Lealiifano
13.    Andrew Smith
14.    Pat McCabe
15.    Jesse Mogg

16.    Anthony Hegarty
17.    Scott Sio
18.    Scott Fardy
19.    Ita Vaea
20.    Nic White
21.    Zack Holmes
22.    Joe Tomane

•    The Sharks and the University of Canberra Brumbies share a long, proud history having met each other 17 times since 1996. One of the most memorable matches was the 2001 final, with the University of Canberra Brumbies claiming a convincing 36-6 point win at Canberra Stadium.
•    Of the 17 matches played, the Sharks have won eight to the University of Canberra Brumbies nine, the last encounter in 2011 going to the Durban side 34-16 at the Shark Tank.
•    For the extra win, the University of Canberra Brumbies have score 49 more points than the Sharks and the last seven games played at Canberra Stadium.
•    The last time the Sharks won in Canberra was in 1998 when they walloped the home team 41-23. That match was the only time the Sharks have won in Canberra, with tonight’s fixture the tenth involving these two teams in Canberra since 1996.
•    One of the most memorable matches between the University of Canberra Brumbies and Sharks was the only Super Rugby clash to be played at Manuka Oval, way back in 1996.
•    On that day, University of Canberra Brumbies winger Joe Roff claimed a club record that still stands, crossing the line on four occasions to help hammer the Sharks back to South Africa, 44-31.