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Alcock and Banks return for Brumbies clash with Kings

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Brumbies Super Rugby head coach Stephen Larkham has named Chris Alcock and Tom Banks in his team to play the Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Larkham has largely kept faith with the squad that pushed the South African Conference leaders, the Lions, all the way at GIO Stadium last Friday with the brace of changes precipitating a re-jig in the back-line.

Banks will come into the team at full-back, a position he played in the narrow loss to the Blues. That means that Aidan Toua will revert to the left wing in place of James Dargaville.

Alcock meanwhile is recalled into the starting team for Jarrad Butler who takes a place amongst the replacements.

These changes mean it’s a mostly settled side that will aim to down a Kings team full of confidence and who have been victorious in their last three encounters, defeating the Waratahs and the Rebels on Australian soil before returning home to win a thriller against the Sharks.

That three-point success means that the Kings have won four matches this campaign, and have been raising eyebrows by playing some eye-catching running rugby, scoring a plethora of spectacular tries along the way.

The Brumbies will hope that their strong forward pack, led by skipper Sam Carter who forms a formidable second-row partnership with Rory Arnold, can dominate the Kings with the onus on the big ball-carrying back row of Alcock, Scott Fardy and Jordan Smiler to set the foundations.

Half-back pairing Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera will pull the strings in the playmaking positions, with Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani at centre. Top scorer Henry Speight, with six tries to his name in 2017, completes an exciting looking, and attacking, back-line.

There is a potential debut-maker amongst the replacements as Andrew Muirhead sits on the bench in Super Rugby for the first time.

Brumbies

15. Tom Banks, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Tom Banks, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Jordan Smiler, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. AllanAlaalatoa, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 1. Ben Alexander

Replacements : 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Nic Mayhew, 18. Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Jarrad Butler, 21. De Wet Roos, 22. Andrew Muirhead, 23. Andrew Smith.

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