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Larkham makes one Brumbies change for Rebels

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)

Brumbies Super Rugby head coach Stephen Larkham has made one enforced change to his starting team to play Melbourne’s Rebels in Canberra on Saturday.

Prop Nic Mayhew comes into the team in place of the injured Ben Alexander who had been set to make Brumbies history by claiming his 143rd cap against the Rebels at GIO Stadium this Saturday, but an injury sustained late in training on Wednesday evening has put those plans on hold.

Mayhew, who himself was forced to miss the match in Buenos Aires through injury, comes into the team which returns from their around-the-world trip, having gained nine points following excellent victories against the Kings in Port Elizabeth and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

Joe Powell, included in the Wallabies Test squad for the June series for matches against Scotland, Italy and Fiji, remains at scrum-half in a back-line that also includes Henry Speight, Kyle Godwin and Tevita Kuridrani, who Wallabies coach Michael Cheika also selected this week.

Tom Banks, who looked sharp in a man-of-the-match performance in Argentina which brought him a brace of tries, is at full-back, with Aidan Toua remaining on the left wing.

There are two changes on the replacements bench with Nigel Ah Wong coming back into the matchday 23 for the first time since Round 9.

Tom Staniforth replaces Blake Enever in the other change amongst the replacements whilst Faalelei Sione, who became Brumby #196 last weekend, gets another opportunity to shine.

Two-try hero Andrew Muirhead, who came off the bench to huge effect in South America, retains his place, looking to add to his impressive display against the Jaguares. The Brumbies have a nine-point lead at the top of the Australian Conference heading into the match with three rounds remaining.

Brumbies

1. Nic MAYHEW, 2. Josh MANN-REA, 3. Allan ALAALATOA, 4. Rory ARNOLD, 5. Sam CARTER (c), 6. Scott FARDY, 7. Chris ALCOCK, 8. Jordan SMILER, 9. Joe POWELL, 10. Wharenui HAWERA, 11. Aidan TOUA, 12. Kyle GODWIN, 13. Tevita KURIDRANI, 14. Henry SPEIGHT, 15. Tom BANKS

Replacements : 16. Robbie ABEL, 17. Faalelei SIONE, 18. Leslie LEULUA’IALI’I-MAKIN, 19. Tom STANIFORTH, 20. Jarrad BUTLER, 21. De Wet ROOS, 22. Andrew MUIRHEAD, 23. Nigel AH WONG