Buenos Aires is a beautiful city and we made some special memories in Cape Town, but sure is it good to be back home.
The Plus500 Brumbies return to GIO Stadium, tomorrow night taking on the Blues in what is a must-win game for Australia’s most successful side. You can get your tickets by clicking here.
These next three games, all in Bruce could define the Brumbies season, starting tonight against Ma’a Nonu and the Blues.
Dan McKellar has made just three changes to his side for tomorrow’s test, with Joe Powell, Irae Simone and debutant Len Ikitau (more on him in our spotlight section) coming in to the team.
The big news coming out of the Blues camp is Leon Macdonald’s decision to rest star speedster, Rieko Ioane though his brother Akira has made the trip and starts at Number 8.
TEAM NEWS I #BRUvBLU— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) May 2, 2019
The Plus500 Brumbies have named their team to take on The Blues on our return home to GIO Stadium aiming for a fourth home win in a row!!
>> https://t.co/7fnlcCPJ4a pic.twitter.com/NbdmYYjE4m
SPOTLIGHT: LEN IKITAU
If you follow the local game, or the National Rugby Championship [NRC], you probably know who Len Ikitau is by now. The Brisbane Boy’s College product came to Canberra to follow his rugby dreams and has been steadily improving ever since.
At every level, from Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup to the Junior Wallabies, Ikitau has shown he has the talent to cut the mustard.
The Tuggeranong Viking is a throwback centre, a player with a style that is slightly rarer in the era of big-bruising 13’s.
When you look at Ikitau, he’s doesn’t seem imposing, but he plays above his weight, every inch of his frame designed to cut down defenders, with a vicious left-foot step or precise chop tackle. Ikitau reminds you of Irish great Brian O’Driscoll, or more locally a guy like Tim Horan.
Len has no interest in running direct into contact. Every time he touches the ball, Ikitau will look to challenge the defender, but like those legends of the game mentioned above, he has the strength and fearlessness to go through contact once it comes and will never shy away from the physical battle.
So, no pressure then. Jokes aside, Ikitau is an excellent young player with a temperament to match. You can only imagine, that Ma’a Nonu was a hero of Ikitau’s growing up, so what a way to make your Super Rugby debut.
One thing is for sure, he will not shirk the challenge, and will be backed up by his brothers throughout.
HEAD TO HEAD
Two top-quality all-rounders at Number 8, Ioane possibly having the edge in attack but Pete Samu being the better defender and breakdown operator. Fascinating battle, and a key one for both sides.
Two top-quality all round Number 8's go head to head at GIO Stadium tomorrow night, 7.45pm! Who you got ?— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) May 3, 2019
Plus500 Brumbies v Blues tickets >> https://t.co/7fnlcCy7FA#BRUvBLU#BrumbiesFamily pic.twitter.com/UE6RtsgH7e
The clash against the New Zealanders will be our first home game since Anzac Day, with the club taking this opportunity to thank the servicemen and women of the Australian Defence Force for their service.
The Brumbies are offering all serving members of the Australian Defence Force, and their families, $10 tickets for the game, available for purchase on the gate with a valid Military ID.
As well as the usual pre-game entertainment, including music and roaming face painting, fans can enjoy The Band of the Royal Military College and the Australian Defence Force Academy Band, who will be providing pre-match entertainment and welcoming the players to the field with a marching band spectacular.
Before the main game kicks off at 7.45pm, members from the Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC) Rugby Club will play Goulburn in the curtain raiser (kick off 5.05pm). There will also be a variety of military capability demonstrations and recruiting displays for fans to experience.
Don’t forget our half-time $10,000 Kick for Cash competition where one lucky member of the crowd has the chance to win $10,000, proudly presented by Hit 104.7 and Lennock Land Rover.
Proceeds from the game will be donated to Mates4Mates, a charity providing support for all wounded, injured or ill members of the Australian Defence Force (current or ex-serving).
Super Rugby Round 12
Saturday 4 May 2019
Plus500 Brumbies v Blues
(GIO Stadium, 19:45)