Zack Holmes will make his run-on debut this Friday in Wellington when the West Australian flyer fills the No 10 jersey in his side’s clash with the Hurricanes.
Holmes was one of just two changes to the University of Canberra Brumbies team announced on Wednesday, with Ian Prior and Nic White also being rotated at scrumhalf. He comes into the 22-man squad for Christian Lealiifano who suffered a season ending broken ankle against the Waratahs two weeks ago.
The Hurricanes have a chance to move into the top two of the New Zealand Conference with a win over the University of Canberra Brumbies (and subject to other results) and with fullback Andre Taylor now the competition’s leading try-scorer (with eight), defence will be the key to a win in Wellington.
The University of Canberra Brumbies haven’t won in Wellington since 2003, but Jake White said history would count for little as his team made its charge towards the finals.
“At this point in the season we have to be winning every game we can to be sure we have a good shot at making the play-offs,” White said.
“Zack has performed well with the limited opportunities he’s been given and we are confident he has what it takes to guide this backline around.
“The Hurricanes are only a couple of points off the top teams in the New Zealand Conference so we know they will be looking to move forward and make a run at a finals spot themselves. They are a bit like our side, in that there is plenty of youth and enthusiasm there.
“But we’ve prepared well for this game, the bye came at a good time and now we are ready to take them on.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies will leave for Wellington on Thursday morning.
University of Canberra Brumbies v Hurricanes
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 5.35pm (AEST)
Referee: Mark Lawrence
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Ben Mowen (c)
7. Michael Hooper
8. Fotu Auelua
9. Ian Prior
10. Zack Holmes
11. Joe Tomane
12. Pat McCabe
13. Andrew Smith
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg
16. Anthony Hegarty
17. Ruaidhri Murphy
18. Peter Kimlin
19. Ita Vaea
20. Nic White
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Tevita Kuridrani
· In all matches combined, the University of Canberra Brumbies have scored 27 less points with the Canes on 460 and the visitors on 433
· The last time the University of Canberra Brumbies won in Wellington was 2003 and the score that day was 35-27
· The two teams have met 17 times with the University of Canberra Brumbies holding a slender advantage at 9-8.