Super Rugby

Larkham names unchanged Brumbies team for Sharks

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Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has retained the team that played the Crusaders for this Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Sharks in Canberra.

The Brumbies coach has retained all 23 players that performed against the Crusaders which means that four from the starting XV will make their home debut.

Scrum half Joe Powell will continue in the playmaking role at scrumhalf, the local youngster having enjoyed a superb match against the Crusaders with his energetic sniping around the base and his quick-fire passes allowing the Brumbies back-line to flourish.

Alongside Powell, Wharenui Hawera will make his GIO Stadium bow with the New Zealand born flyhalf hoping to continue where he left off in Round 1, his 100% kicking success from the tee almost leading the Brumbies to what would have been an upset victory.

In the pack the form of Chris Alcock, another who will make his maiden bow in front of the home supporters, could be key to the Brumbies hopes of a win. The former Force and Waratahs man secured four turnovers in Round 1, the most of any player in any game.

The battle of the front rows should be an absorbing contest as well with Wallaby star Allan Alaalatoa coming up against South African ‘Beast’ Tendai Mtawarira with the scrum battle set to be extremely important in setting any foundations for dominant possession.

Discipline could be key with Sharks Patrick Lambie a deadly presence with the boot. As such the Brumbies defence, which was led by an outstanding Scott Fardy against the Crusaders, will need to be at their most vigilant and decisive best. Fardy continues in the backrow alongside Alcock and Jordan Smiler.

Brumbies

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

Replacements : 16. Robbie ABEL , 17. Ben ALEXANDER , 18. Leslie LEULUA’IALI’I-MAKIN , 19. Tom STANIFORTH , 20. Lolo FAKAOSILEA , 21. De Wet ROOS , 22. Andrew SMITH , 23. Isaac THOMPSON

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