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Brumbies bring in rookie to replace Pocock

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Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has named his team to play the Reds on Friday in Canberra and brought in rookie Ben Hyne for David Pocock.

Larkham has named Hyne to make his Super Rugby debut this Friday in a team that also features Matt Toomua and Andrew Smith who return from injury.

Toomua made a successful return from a knee injury during last week’s third Test for the Wallabies against England and had a hand in two tries for the home side. He has missed the Brumbies past three matches through a knee injury which required minor surgery.

Hyne has been named to make his debut after moving to Canberra to link with the Brumbies pre-season training squad without the guarantee of a contract.

The Rockhampton-product who is now on a development contract, was part of the 2015 National Rugby Championship winning Brisbane City side.

He has been playing for Tuggeranong Vikings in the 2016 John I Dent Cup and has taken out the competition’s Player of the Round award on three occasions. He is also second on the competition’s try scoring list with seven.

The versatile 22-year old travelled with the Brumbies to South Africa earlier this season as a shadow player following injuries to Ita Vaea and Jarrad Butler.

Hyne has been named at No.8 for Friday night’s match, joining Butler (7) and Scott Fardy (6) in the back row. He will become Brumby #185.

In another first for the Brumbies, young scrumhalf Joe Powell has been named to make his first Super Rugby start.

Powell was a bolter for the Wallabies recent training squad for the Test series against England after playing in eight Super Rugby matches over the past two seasons, all of which have been as a reserve.

Tomás Cubelli has been named as reserve scrumhalf after returning to Canberra from Argentina yesterday following Los Pumas test series with France.

In another boost for the side, Andrew Smith returns to the bench for the first time since round two after recovering from a serious foot injury. Smith has played two matches for the Queanbeyan Whites in the John I Dent Cup to return to match fitness.

Joe Tomane has not been named in this week’s squad as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury. Nigel Ah Wong and James Dargaville maintain their spots on the wing.

Ruan Smith has been named as a reserve and could potentially rack up his 50th Super Rugby cap in the match. Smith made his Super Rugby debut for the Western Force in 2012 and played two matches for the West Australian outfit before linking with the Brumbies where he has made 47 appearances since 2013.

The Brumbies have won four of their last six matches against the Reds, including the last three encounters between the two sides. In 2015 the Brumbies won both matches, including a 47-3 victory over the Reds at GIO Stadium in round one.

Brumbies

1. Scott Sio,2. Stephen Moore (c),3. Ben Alexander,4. Rory Arnold,5. Sam Carter,6. Scott Fardy,7. Jarrad Butler,8. Ben Hyne* (Super Rugby debut),9. Joe Powell,10. Christian Lealiifano (c),11. James Dargaville,12. Matt Toomua,13. Tevita Kuridrani,14. Nigel Ah Wong,15. Aidan Toua

Replacements : 16. Josh Mann-Rea,17. Allan Alaalatoa,18. Ruan Smith,19. Blake Enever,20. Michael Wells,21. Tomas Cubelli,22. Andrew Smith,23. Lausii Taliauli

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