Brumbies drop Holmes to the bench

The Brumbies have delivered a selection shock by dumping rising halfback Josh Holmes to the bench for their Super 14 all-Australian rugby derby with Queensland.

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher Wednesday replaced former Australian Under-19 gun Holmes with Patrick Phibbs who will gain a rare run-on start at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night, reports Rugby Heaven.

The surprise move came as the Reds were still hedging their bets on their halfback with veteran Sam Cordingley given an extra day to prove his fitness following a groin injury.

Queensland coach Phil Mooney bracketed youngster Will Genia with Cordingley and has Ben Lucas on stand-by for a place on the bench.

“We’ll give Sam every chance, as he is such an experienced and valuable member of the side,” Mooney said.

“But if he’s not right we’re more than happy to hand the number 9 jersey to Will and bring Benny Lucas onto the bench.”

Genia is still seen as the likely starter and one of two changes to the Reds side which lost 23-18 to the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.

Former Wallabies tourist Leroy Houston gets his first chance to start after moving into the back-row for the injured Hugh McMeniman (broken ankle).

Fisher has made four changes to the starting XV which overcame the Highlanders 22-20 at home on Saturday night.

Academy centre Sanualio Afeaki, 20, has been promoted to the injury-riddled midfield at No.13 with Tyrone Smith moving closer to the action at inside centre after the loss of Anthony Faingaa (knee).

Faingaa’s brother Saia gets his first start at hooker, with Huia Edmonds dropped to the bench while the injured Al Campbell (knee) has been replaced by former Red Adam Wallace-Harrison.

Both teams enter the round three clash with a 1-1 win-loss record.

Brumbies: Julian Huxley, Mark Gerrard, Sanualio Afeaki, Tyrone Smith, Francis Fainifo, Christian Lealiifano, Patrick Phibbs; Stephen Hoiles, George Smith (capt), Mitch Chapman, Mark Chisholm, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Guy Shepherdson, Saia Faingaa, Nic Henderson.
Res: Huia Edmonds, Salesi Ma’afu, Peter Kimlin, Julian Salvi, Josh Holmes, Peter Playford, Afusipa Taumoepeau.


Reds: Huia Edmonds, Salesi Ma’afu, Peter Kimlin, Julian Salvi, Josh Holmes, Peter Playford, Afusipa Taumoepeau. Queensland: Chris Latham, Digby Ioane, Morgan Turinui, Chris Siale, Clinton Schifcofske, Berrick Barnes, Sam Cordingley/Will Genia; Leroy Houston, David Croft, John Roe (capt), James Horwill, Van Humphries, Rodney Blake, Stephen Moore, Greg Holmes.
Res: Sean Hardman, Dayna Edwards, Ed O’Donoghue, AJ Gilbert, Genia/Ben Lucas, Peter Hynes, Quade Cooper.



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