Super Rugby AU

Wallabies trio start for Brumbies against Reds

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Brumbies Super rugby head coach Dan McKellar has named Wallabies trio Folau Fainga’a, Nic White and Tevita Kuridrani in the starting side for their top of the table clash with the Queensland Reds on Saturday.

Fainga’a will join fellow Wallaby Scott Sio in the starting front row alongside inspirational skipper Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead prop.

Up and coming lock Darcy Swain has also been recalled to the run on side, packing down next to the experienced campaigner Cadeyrn Neville.

Two strong performances as a finisher sees Rob Valetini return at blindside flanker, reigniting his combination with Will Miller and Pete Samu in the back row.

Wallabies World Cup number nine Nic White will start for the side for the first time since 2015 after making his return to Australian rugby in round eight and will partner Bauley Kuenzle who celebrates re-signing the club with another start in the no.10 jersey.

Second playmaker Irae Simone will help steer the Brumbies attack from inside centre with the experienced Tevita Kuridrani making his return to familiar number 13 jersey on Saturday night.

The rest of the outside backs remain unchanged with last week’s try scorers Tom Wright, Andy Muirhead and Tom Banks maintaining a consistent feel across the back three.

After strong showings in the starting side, Connal McInerney will again be asked to provide spark as a finisher, alongside James Slipper and Tom Ross in the front row.

Impressively athletic lock Nick Frost gets another chance in the match day 23 with vice-captain Lachlan McCaffrey the other forward finisher.

Local product Ryan Lonergan will likely see minutes at halfback with the damaging duo of Len Ikitau and Solomone Kata adding plenty of spark to the backs should they be injected into the game.

The match will see the side wear their Indigenous jersey representing the Ngunnawal people for the second time this season, with the Reds also wearing their First Nations strip at Suncorp Stadium.

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “It’s great to be able to recall players with so much experience into the side this week.”

“Whitey has been great for the group since returning and the likes of Folau and Tev have been training really well over the past couple of weeks and have earned their place in the team.

“The Reds are undefeated at Suncorp Stadium this year and we haven’t played our best up there in the last couple of years so we know the challenge in front of us and we’ll be up for it on Saturday night.”

Brumbies

1. Scott Sio,2. Folau Fainga’a,3. Allan Alaalatoa (c),4. Darcy Swain,5. Cadeyrn Neville,6. Rob Valetini,7. Will Miller,8. Pete Samu,9. Nic White,10. Bayley Kuenzle,11. Tom Wright,12. Irae Simone,13. Tevita Kuridrani,14. Andy Muirhead,15. Tom Banks

Replacements: 16. Connal McInerney,17. James Slipper,18. Tom Ross,19. Nick Frost,20. Lachlan McCaffrey,21. Ryan Lonergan,22. Len Ikitaua

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