Super Rugby

Vaea and Coleman return for Brumbies




The Brumbies have named their Super Rugby team to play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and included Ita Vaea and Robbie Coleman in the starting line up.

Vaea comes in for Jarrad Butler who has a knee injury and Coleman comes in for Henry Speight who fractured a bone in his face playing against the Stormers.

Vaea returns to the starting line up for the first time since round two when the Brumbies beat the Waratahs in Canberra.

During that match Vaea suffered a serious finger injury, which sidelined the backrower for the 31-11 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town last Saturday.

Coleman gets his first start of the season on the wing in place of the injured Speight. After missing the first two matches of the season due to a leg injury picked up in pre-season, Coleman was a late inclusion on the bench for the round three match against the Force in Perth and was also named as a replacement in the loss to the Stormers.

Speight (who turns 28 today) is meeting with surgeons in Canberra this morning to determine the extent of damage suffered to his frontal bone, just above his eye, following a head clash with Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano last week.

In other changes to the team for the Cheetahs match, Robbie Abel has been named as a replacement and could make his Super Rugby debut. The hooker, who spent the past two seasons with the Western Force Extended Playing Squad, linked with the Brumbies on an EPS contract for 2016 and is in line to make his debut, following the one-week suspension to Josh Mann-Rea.

The 26-year old is a former Brumbies Academy player and was a standout junior in the ACT, playing for renowned Rugby nursery St Edmunds College and forcing his way into the Australian Schoolboys side in 2008. He represented the UC Vikings in the 2015 National Rugby Championship, scoring two tries.

In other changes to the squad, Ruan Smith has been named as a reserve for his first Super Rugby match of 2016.

Smith spent the off-season playing in Japan before returning to the Brumbies in February. He has been in camp with the Brumbies in South Africa for the past two weeks and replaces Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin in the match day squad. Leulua’iali’i-Makin has played in all three matches for the Brumbies this season after making his Super Rugby debut against the Hurricanes in round one.

Jordan Smiler, who started last week’s match against the Stormers at No.8 returns to the bench, while James Dargaville comes in as a useful replacement for Speight. Dargaville scored one try in his rookie season for the Brumbies in 2015 and will take Coleman’s position on the bench with the Queanbeyan-product promoted to the starting side.


Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (c), Ben Alexander, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, David Pocock, Ita Vaea, Tomás Cubelli , Christian Lealiifano (c), Robbie Coleman, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani, Joe Tomane, Aidan Toua

Replacements : Robbie Abel, Allan Alaalatoa, Ruan Smith, Tom Staniforth, Jordan Smiler, Michael Dowsett, James Dargaville, Nigel Ah Wong

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