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Slipper returns for Brumbies clash with Sunwolves

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Brumbies Super rugby head coach Dan McKellar has named a team with one change to the side that beat the Bulls to play the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.

The only change is the rotation of prop James Slipper who comes back into the starting XV and Scott Sio moving to the bench.

The veteran loosehead will pack down alongside ten-try hooker Folau Fainga’a and Allan Alaalatoa as the Brumbies look for a repeat of the bonus-point win over their Japanese opponents in Round 13 a few weeks ago.

Other than the front row change, the team will be the same that took to the field and recorded a sixth home win in succession against the South African Bulls, a victory that puts the Brumbies on top of the Australian Conference heading into the final three rounds of the season.

There are two changes amongst the replacements as Lachlan McCaffrey makes a welcome return from injury, the flanker having completed a decent stint with his club side Quenabeyan Whites in the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup last weekend.

McCaffrey’s Queanbeyan team-mate, Matt Lucas, is recalled to the finishers having last featured against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires. Rory Arnold and Sam Carter remain in situ in the second row, with the highly-mobile backrow combination of Jahrome Brown, Tom Cusack and Pete Samu once more named by McKellar.

The back-line, which has been in scintillating form in recent weeks, is the same as that which combined for eight tries in the past two games, with Irae Simone, who crossed for his maiden Super Rugby try in the win over the Bulls, partnered in midfield with Tevita Kuridrani who grabbed a hat-trick in the same game.

Out wide Henry Speight, who has been in sparkling form in recent weeks, lines up on the opposite flank to fellow speedster Toni Pulu with fullback Tom Banks completing the starting XV.

Brumbies

1. James SLIPPER, 2. Folau FAINGA’A, 3. Allan ALAALATOA, 4. Rory ARNOLD, 5. Sam CARTER, 6. Tom CUSACK, 7. Jahrome BROWN, 8. Pete SAMU, 9. Joe POWELL, 10. Christian LEALIIFANO, 11. Toni PULU, 12. Irae SIMONE, 13. Tevita KURIDRANI, 14. Henry SPEIGHT, 15. Tom BANKS

Replacements: 16. Connal MCINERNEY , 17. Leslie LEULUAIALII-MAKIN, 18. Scott SIO, 19. Darcy SWAIN, 20. Lachlan MCCAFFREY, 21. Rob VALETINI, 22. Matt LUCAS, 23. Tom WRIGHT

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