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Brumbies ring the changes for Sunwolves

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Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has made a number of changes that beat the Rebels for this Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves at GIO Stadium.

The Brumbies had a bye last week so their last match was in Round 12 at AAMI Park two weeks ago.

For this week’s match Michael Dowsett replaces Tomás Cubelli at scrumhalf, Ruan Smith comes in to replace Ben Alexander at tighthead prop and Robbie Coleman returns from injury at inside centre.

All ten of the Brumbies players named in the Wallabies 39-man squad for the upcoming international series against England have been named in the side. (Moore (c), Alaalatoa, Arnold, Carter, Fardy, Kuridrani, Lealiifano, Pocock, Powell and Sio).

The Brumbies starting front row for the Sunwolves match will feature Scott Sio, co-captain Stephen Moore and Ruan Smith. Smith was a standout for the Brumbies as a replacement against the Rebels, which earned him a Super Rugby Team of the Week selection.

The starting locks will be Rory Arnold and Sam Carter, while Scott Fardy, David Pocock and Jarrad Butler start in the backrow.

Dowsett gets his first start of the season with Larkham managing the workload of Cubelli who is expected to be named in the Argentinian national side to take on France and Italy over the coming weeks. Co-captain Christian Lealiifano will start outside Dowsett at flyhalf.

Robbie Coleman returns to the side at inside centre after missing the win over the Rebels with a hamstring strain. Tevita Kuridrani will start at outside centre while James Dargaville and Nigel Ah Wong will start on the wings. Aidan Toua retains the fullback position.

On the bench, Josh Mann-Rea and Allan Alaalatoa will be joined by Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin as the reserve front row while Tom Staniforth, who recently signed a new two-year deal to stay with the Brumbies and Jordan Smiler are the other forwards.

Joe Powell, who was today selected in the Wallabies 39-man training squad will be joined by rookie Jordan Jackson-Hope who became Brumby #184 following his Super Rugby debut against the Rebels. Lausii Taliauli rounds out the match day 23.

Saturday night’s match will be the first encounter between these two sides.

The Brumbies will be looking for consecutive victories against non-Australian teams for the first time since May 2015 after a 23-6 win against the Bulls in Round 11. The Sunwolves have won once and drawn once in their last four Super Rugby fixtures, though they remain winless in three games against Australian opposition.

The Brumbies players will run onto the field with the Canberra Milk logo printed on their shorts after the two parties reached an agreement this week.

Brumbies

1. Scott Sio , 2. Stephen Moore (c) , 3. Ruan Smith , 4. Rory Arnold , 5. Sam Carter , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. David Pocock , 8. Jarrad Butler , 9. Michael Dowsett , 10. Christian Lealiifano (c) , 11. James Dargaville , 12. Robbie Coleman , 13. Tevita Kuridrani , 14. Nigel Ah Wong , 15. Aidan Toua

Replacements 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. Allan Alaalatoa, 18. Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19. Tom Staniforth, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Joe Powell, 22. Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23. Lausii Taliauli

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