Taumoepeau chosen to run-on with the Bulls for Brumbies



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Winger Afusipa Taumoepeau has been selected to make his run-on debut for the CA Brumbies against the Bulls in their Investec Super 14 Week 13 match at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

The 18-year-old’s promotion to the starting line-up is one of five changes with John Ulugia, Guy Shepherdson, Mitchell Chapman and Joshua Holmes all returning to the run-on side.

Taumoepeau joined the Brumbies Academy this year having represented the St Joseph’s First XV and Australian Schoolboys in 2007.

Taumoepeau, who made his Investec Super 14 debut off the bench against the Reds at Canberra Stadium this year, says he excited about making his debut in the starting XV.

‘I didn’t think I’d play any Super 14 this year, so to be chosen in the starting side is beyond my expectations,’ he said. ‘I’ve really enjoyed playing at this level and I’m looking forward to playing the Bulls on Friday night.

‘Growing up, I always looked up to guys like Stirling Mortlock and Mark Gerrard, so to have the opportunity to run on alongside them is a dream come true.’

In the other change to the CA Brumbies’ backline, Holmes replaces Patrick Phibbs at scrumhalf.

The Canberra-based side’s forward pack has also received a number of changes with Chapman returning to blindside flanker allowing Stephen Hoiles to return to his customary role of No.8.

Meanwhile, Ulugia replaces Saia Faingaa at hooker, and will pack down next to Shepherdson who returns to the starting front row in place of Salesi Ma’afu.

Head Coach Laurie Fisher says Taumoepeau is an outstanding young prospect for the CA Brumbies.

‘Sipa’s shown what a tremendous player he is at the junior level and he’s approached his senior football with a lot of maturity and enthusiasm,’ he said. ‘He’s risen to each challenge through our [pre-season] trial matches and off the bench during the season, and this is a great opportunity for him to continue his development as part of the run-on side against last year’s Super 14 Champions.

‘The Bulls showed last week what a formidable opponent they are, particularly at Loftus [Versfeld], against a strong Tahs side. We know they have a big, physical pack and a number of fast outside backs, so our challenge is to ensure we match them physically at the set piece and the breakdown, convert our opportunities and don’t give their Habanas and Ndunganes any space.

‘There is a lot of pride and motivation within this [CA Brumbies] squad and everyone is committed to finishing the season on a positive note over the next two weeks.’

Due to illness within the squad in the lead-up to Friday’s match, the bench will not be resolved until the day of the game.

Friday’s match will kick off at 7.10pm (local time).

CA Brumbies v Bulls

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Friday, 9 May 2008

Nic Henderson, John Ulugia , Guy Shepherdson ,Alister Campbell ,Mark Chisholm, Mitchell Chapman , George Smith , Stephen Hoiles , Joshua Holmes , Christian Lealiifano , Afusipa Taumoepeau , Tyrone Smith , Stirling Mortlock (c) ,Adam Ashley-Cooper , Mark Gerrard.


Reserves : TBA

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