Peter Kimlin moves back into the starting side as one of just two changes to the University of Canberra Brumbies as they fight to stay on top of the Australian Conference this Saturday night at home against the Reds.
Kimlin will wear the No 6 jersey, with Ben Mowen moving back to No 8 and Fotu Auelua out of the 22-man squad. Claiming Kimlin's bench spot is Leon Power who has turned in a series of impressive performances for Queanbeyan over the last two weekends.
Head Coach Jake White said Kimlin had earned his start as the Coaching Staff continue their rotation policy with the Brumbies forwards.
“Kimo adds a little bit more as far as experience and height at the line-out are concerned, and he’s been the No 1 six flanker, so Benny Mowen moves back to the back of the scrum and we will work from there,” White said.
“Benny (Mowen), Hoops (Michael Hooper) and Kimo have worked well for us in that combination as loose forwards in the past. Our defensive and attacking line-out will both benefit with Kimlin there as another option.
“It’s not all about disrupting their ball, we have to be able to protect our ball so that’s another area where Peter will come in handy. He’s played 50 Super Rugby matches for the Brumbies and played for the Wallabies so Peter’s experience is a big bonus for us.
“We’re treating it exactly like a final. There’s a lot at stake – we can move another four points ahead and they have the bye next week. It is massive – we want to have a good crack to finish as high as we can
“If you want to play in the finals you have to be able to beat the Reds at home.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies scrumhalves will also rotate for Saturday’s match with Ian Prior moving to the bench and Nic White back into the starting side.
The University of Canberra Brumbies backline has been responsible for scoring a stack of tries during the last month and a half of rugby and other than the switch at scrumhalf, remains the same for Saturday night’s clash. The match at Canberra Stadium shapes as the most important of the season for both sides, with the winner handed a golden chance to claim top spot of the Australian Conference.
The Reds currently sit eight points adrift of the University of Canberra Brumbies, but with a bye next weekend, a win in the ACT would be worth eight points for the Queenslanders.
University of Canberra Brumbies v Reds
Canberra Stadium, Bruce
Referee: Steve Walsh
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Peter Kimlin
7. Michael Hooper
8. Ben Mowen (c)
9. Nic White
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. Leon Power
19. Ita Vaea
20. Ian Prior
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Tevita Kuridrani
• The Reds and the Brumbies share one of the competition’s most colourful histories. Since 1996 the two sides have met 19 times, with the University of Canberra Brumbies managing to keep the wood over their northern rivals for the majority of that time.
• Of those 19 meetings the Reds have won just three, with two of those victories occurring in the last 12 months.
• Until Week Three 2011, the University of Canberra Brumbies had won a massive 12 games on the trot, the Reds one and only prior victory coming in 1999 when they won 19-18 at Ballymore.
• Week Three 2011 was the Reds only victory at Canberra Stadium, which they claimed despite being outscored four tries to one.
• While tonight’s match is sure to pack finals intensity, the only time the two teams have met in the playoffs 2001 when the Brumbies triumphed 30-6 in Canberra.
• The last three times the University of Canberra Brumbies and the Reds have met, the Queenslanders have managed two wins. The most recent was Week Seven this year when they won 20-13 in Brisbane.