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Brumbies make two changes for Bulls match

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Brumbies Super rugby head coach Dan McKellar has named a side with two changes for their match this Saturday against the Bulls in Pretoria.

Blake Enever and Lachlan McCaffrey have been recalled to the starting line-up in the absence of the suspended Rory Arnold and injured Rob Valetini.

Enever will partner co-captain Sam Carter in the lock position for the first time this season, with the only previous time the pair have been selected in the same starting XV coming when Enever began as prop in the Round 11 match with the Crusaders at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

McCaffrey meanwhile slots back into the flanker role having been named as a replacement in the defeat to the Lions at Emirates Airline Park last weekend. The physical ball-carrier will be joined in the back-row by David Pocock and Isi Naisarani, the trio entrusted with the job of disrupting the Bulls possession and securing good ball for their backs to flourish.

The rest of the starting team is the same that played in Johannesburg with the front row of Scott Sio, Folau Fainga’a and Allan Alaalatoa packing down together for the eighth match in succession, bringing a forceful and formidable look to the engine room of the scrum.

Behind the pack the backs will be looking to replicate the attacking flair and fearless attitude shown against the Lions, with the Brumbies very much in the match until a brace of cards late on left them with a mountain to climb to contain the rampant home side.

Joe Powell and Christian Lealiifano will be the half-back pairing for the fifth time this season, although prior to the Lions match the duo hadn’t formed the axis since the Round 4 clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.

Kyle Godwin remains at centre alongside Brumbies newest centurion Tevita Kuridrani, the Wallaby international celebrating his 100th cap with a try. Out wide Andy Muirhead, Henry Speight and two-try Tom Banks will be looking to cause more carnage having been afforded the licence to run last time out.

There are three new faces on the bench with hooker Connal McInerney, flown in during the week after Robbie Abel suffered a calf strain, joined amongst the finishers by lock Richie Arnold and fly-half Wharenui Hawera.

Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin reverts to his normal role of prop, after his three-minute spell at hooker at the tail-end of the match against the Lions with fellow front rower Nick Mayhew and flanker Tom Cusack the other forward options as McKellar reverts to a bench consisting of five forwards and three backs. The back finishers are scrumhalf Matt Lucas, Hawera and the versatile Andrew Smith who will be hoping to earn his 72nd Super Rugby cap should he be called upon to enter the fray.

Brumbies

15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Andrew Muirhead, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Blake Enever, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio

Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Nick Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Richie Arnold, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andrew Smith

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