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Larkham makes three Brumbies changes for the Force

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Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has named a side with three changes for their Super Rugby match against the Western Force in Perth.

Brumbies lock Blake Enever and No. 8 Ita Vaea will both miss the match against the Force after picking up injuries in the 32-15 win over the Waratahs last Friday.

Rory Arnold comes straight back into the starting side for Enever who injured his shoulder in the win over the Waratahs. Arnold started the first match of the 2016 Super Rugby season against the Hurricanes.

Moving into the starting side for the first time this season will be Jarrad Butler who replaces the injured Vaea. Butler played his 50th Super Rugby match last Friday night and will start at No.8 for the Brumbies. Vaea suffered a finger injury against the Waratahs and will miss at least one match.

Butler is a star on the rise in Australian Rugby. In 2014 he was named the Brumbies Brett Robinson Medal Winner for Players’ Player, while last year he was hand-picked by Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika to play for the Barbarians in London.

Taking Butler’s vacated spot on the reserve’s list is Canberra youngster, Tom Staniforth. Former Australian U20 and Australian Schoolboy representative Staniforth made his Super Rugby debut (and only Super Rugby appearance) in 2014 as a 19-year old against the Queensland Reds.

His elevation to the Brumbies Match Day 23 comes after strong performances during pre-season trials and a standout 2015 of club rugby with Canberra Royals in the John I Dent Cup, where he received the competition’s highest individual honour, the MacDougall Medal.

The Brumbies have won seven of their last eight matches against the Force including a current winning streak of four matches, the longest in the history of this fixture. The last time the two sides met was in Perth, where the Brumbies won 33-20 to seal a spot in the 2015 Super Rugby finals series.

Following the match against the Force on Friday, the Brumbies will head to South Africa for matches against the Stormers in Cape Town (19 March) and the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein ( 26 March).

Brumbies

Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (c), Ben Alexander, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, David Pocock, Jarrad Butler, Tomás Cubelli , Christian Lealiifano (c), Joe Tomane, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani, Henry Speight, Aidan Toua

Replacements : Joss Mann-Rea, Allan Alaalatoa, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Tom Staniforth, Jordan Smiler, Michael Dowsett, Andrew Smith, Nigel Ah Wong

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