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Brumbies make twelve changes for Chiefs

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Nic Mayhew of the Brumbies in action during the round three Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Force at GIO Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Canberra’s Brumbies have named a team with twelve changes to the team that was beaten by the Reds in Brisbane for this week’s final round match against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

The only players who retain their places from last week are wing Henry Speight, fly-half Wharenui Hawera and flanker Scott Fardy.

Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham has used this opportunity to rest some players ahead of the Quarter Final clash on 21 July.

A new-look front row sees Nic Mayhew and Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin propping either side of hooker Robbie Abel, whilst Tom Staniforth and Blake Enever combine in the second row.

Fardy will captain the side from flanker in a back-row that also includes Jarrad Butler, who had a stint at Centre in the Reds fixture, and a return to the starting XV for robust no.8 Lolo Fakaosilea.

Behind the scrum there is a first start of the season for Argentinean scrum-half Tomas Cubelli, who will link up with Kiwi fly-half Hawera, making a return to his home-town having been born in Hamilton.

Andrew Smith and Nigel Ah Wong will form a potentially strong midfield, with Speight joined in the back-three by the returning James Dargaville and Jordan Jackson-Hope, the latter starting the match at full-back.

Larkham has opted for six forwards amongst the replacements with Wallaby international prop Scott Sio named along with Brumby record-cap holder Ben Alexander and veteran hooker Josh Mann-Rea as the front row changes.

There’s plenty of mobility in the shape of Ben Hyne, Tom Cusack and Jordan Smiler with scrum-half Ryan Lonergan offered a first opportunity of the season and Tom Banks rounding out the bench.

Brumbies

Jordan Jackson-Hope, Henry Speight, Nigel Ah Wong, Andrew Smith, James Dargaville, Wharenui Hawera, Tomas Cubelli, Lolo Fakaosilea, Jarrad Butler, Scott Fardy (c), Blake Enever, Tom Staniforth, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Robbie Abel, Nic Mayhew.

Replacements: Josh Mann-Rea, Scott Sio, Ben Alexander, Ben Hyne, Tom Cusack, Jordan Smiler, Ryan Lonergan, Tom Banks.