The University of Canberra Brumbies have named their side to face the Waratahs this Saturday night, with Henry Speight making a return from rib bruising to take his place on the wing.
Headlining selection talk along with Speight will be George Smith, who makes his first appearance for the University of Canberra Brumbies since 2010 from the bench.
Speight and Smith are the only changes to the team which beat the Rebels two weeks ago in Melbourne.
And with Pat McCabe and Josh Mann-Rea named to face the Tongan A side later on Thursday, Head Coach Jake White has 35 fit players to chose from for the first time since he joined the club at the end of 2011.
In Speight’s place Joe Tomane moves to the bench, with Tevita Kuridrani dropping out of the game-day 22. As the Australian Conference’s top try-scorer in 2012, Speight will be looking to add to his total against the Waratahs after scoring two five-pointers from as many games last year.
Since 2001, Smith has lost just one game against the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium. That was way back in 2005 and while he hasn’t been involved in this fixture since 2010, Head Coach Jake White was confident his newest player would want to keep that record intact.
“To have a player of George’s quality wanting to come to the Brumbies says a lot about our organisation and where we are heading,” White said.
“George is a player who aligns himself with quality brands and winning teams. George is a proven winner. He’s won big games here in Australia and overseas so we are looking to use that experience and attitude here at the Brumbies.
“In the context of the season this is a big game for us. It’s great to have Henry back in the starting side after he missed the game against the Rebels. Henry scores a lot of tries and we will need him to be at his best on Saturday night.”
University of Canberra Brumbies players will wear a once off Centenary Strip on Saturday, with all 22 match-day jerseys available for auction on allbids.com.au as of Thursday afternoon.
Creating a buzz at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night will be the University of Canberra rUCkus crew, offering the first 500 students a special offer. For $20, students take home a rUCkus I AM CLYDE t-shirt, ticket to the game and four free drinks.
For more information on the rUCkus deal, please contact Brumbies Rugby Media Manager, Elliot Woods.
Saturday, 9 March
Super Rugby Round 4
University of Canberra Brumbies v Waratahs
Canberra Stadium, Bruce
Referee: Jonathon White
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer
4. Scott Fardy
5. Sam Carter
6. Peter Kimlin
7. David Pocock
8. Ben Mowen
9. Nic White
10. Matt Toomua
11. Clyde Rathbone
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Andrew Smith
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg
16. Siliva Siliva
17. Scott Sio
18. Fotu Auelua
19. George Smith
20. Ian Prior
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Joe Tomane