David Pocock is back in the line-up, a big crowd expected at GIO Stadium and a sense of excitement building around the Capital.
It can only mean one thing; it’s ‘Tahs week.The Plus500 Brumbies welcome Sydneyside rivals the Waratahs to GIO Stadium tomorrow night, March 31 with the game set to go at 7.45pm.
The Brumbies have been boosted by the return of star flanker David Pocock and not a minute too soon with Waratahs captain Michael Hooper, a genuine world-class flanker in his own right, always keen to impress against the Brumbies where he started his professional career.
The task of stopping Hooper will largely fall on Pocock’s shoulders but he will have plenty of help from flanker partner Lachy McCaffrey who was outstanding in the Brumbies last outing against the Sharks.
Isi Naisarani could be the difference maker at number 8.
Wallabies Scott Sio and Alan Alaalatoa start in the front row either side of Folau Fainga’a who looked more than comfortable at Super Rugby level in his run on debut In Round 5.
Sam Carter will not be risked for the ‘Tahs contest, these Australian derbies are always physical affairs and the Brumbies will need all 23 players firing on all cylinders if they are to get the win they desperately desire and Carter is just short at the moment.
While the Brumbies will miss Carter, there is quality available with Wallabies Lock’s Blake Enever and Rory Arnold keeping their starting jumper for the Brumbies second home game of the season.
The backline is unchanged from the one which impressed versus the Durbanites, Brumbies fans will be hoping that Wharenui Hawera will have the same dead-eye accuracy from the boot that he did in Round 5.
On the bench, injury and availability has forced Dan McKellar into making a few changes. Mees Erasmus could make his Brumbies debut should he be required to come on for either props, Kyle Godwin is also a valuable asset off the bench.
The Waratahs will have a couple familiar faces in the starting XV with former Brumbies flanker Michael Wells being named at blindside flanker whilst Tom Staniforth will be on the bench, the versatile Lock moved to Sydney from the Capital during the offseason.
The teams will be contesting the Dan Vickerman Cup on the night, a trophy dedicated to the life and career of Vickerman who tragically passed away early last year.
The Brumbies took home the trophy last year after beating the Waratahs 28-12 in Sydney, Henry Speight’s double capping a memorable night for the Brumbies.
Every Super Rugby game is important, especially those against teams in your conference.
This game is different, it has that extra spice that only comes with rivalry.
It’s the Brumbies and the ‘Tahs, the marquee matchup in Australian Rugby since 1996.
This game produces magic unlike any other match, don’t miss out.