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Brumbies to alternate Lealiifano and Toomua at 10

Christian Lealiifano returns for the Brumbies

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano could alternate the number 10 jersey with Matt Toomua in the 2016 Super Rugby season

Lealiifano looks set to start at 10 in the Brumbies Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes in Canberra on Friday.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says that he plans to alternate Toomua and Lealiifano depending on who they are playing against.

In the Brumbies opening pre-season match against the Waratahs in Wagga Wagga, Toomua started at 10 but then Lealiifano took the 10 jersey against the Reds and Toomua moved to inside centre.

Both players are comfortable playing in either position and Larkham says they bring different attributes to the role and he will use them in the position that suits the style of play they want to use against different opponents.

“We have the ability to switch it around depending on who we come up against – you can attack in different ways and defend in different ways,” Larkham told The Age.

“It gives you a couple of different options depending on how they’re played. You can look at the different skills of each player and play around with that depending on which combination you go with.

“They’ve both got a good skill set to play five-eighth or 12. The way the (other) guys respond to them, we change the combination up there and get a different effect on the team.”

The Brumbies played just two pre-season matches while several of the other teams played three. Larkham said that he only wanted two matches and has used the last week to allow the players to recover from any niggles they might have picked up.

“We’ve preferred that over the last couple of years and we think that’s worked well for us again this year. But that’s not to say we won’t change it next year,” he said.

“That’s the plan – to have this weekend off to make sure they get over any little niggling injuries and are right to go, 100 per cent, on the weekend.”