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Smith to start in Brumbies Super Rugby qualifier

Coach Jake White says George Smith will start this weekend

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Article Published: Tuesday 16 July 2013

Brumbies coach Jake White has confirmed that George Smith will be in the starting side for their Super Rugby qualifying final against the Cheetahs on Sunday.

Smith was benched for the Brumbies final regular season match against the Western Force last weekend and only managed 30 minutes for the Canberra franchise.

A week earlier Smith won his 111th Test cap for Australian against the British and Irish Lions so White felt he needed a little rest last week.

White refused to reveal all of the changes he plans to make to his starting line up for the qualifying final at Canberra Stadium but did say that Smith would start.

"One hundred per cent," White told the Herald Sun.

"For me now it's about picking a team that can win the competition.

"George has all that experience, has played in play-offs and won the competition before.

"Any bit of advantage we can get going into this knockout stage of the competition is going to be vital."

White also said that halfback Nic White would have a fitness test later this week as he has been out since Round 17 when he fractured his collarbone against the Rebels.

"All things being equal he should be ready to go and if he's 90 per cent, look this is a play off game and we've got to pick the best team," White said.

The Brumbies will start the match against the Cheetahs coming off a 21-15 loss to the Force in Perth but prop Ben Alexander says that he is confident they can bounce back for their first finals game in nine years.

"While we've had our combinations embedded throughout the whole year it was still our first hit-out as a group since the boys played the Lions, so there was a few cobwebs," Alexander said.

"There's definitely some thinking that if we came in the top two we would've had another week off so I think it's good that we're getting straight on to the field and playing again."


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