Brumbies name Wallaby centres to face Highlanders

CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend has maintained his all-Wallaby centre pairing of Stirling Mortlock and Adam Ashley-Cooper for his side’s opening 2009 Investec Super 14 fixture against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday, 13 February.

Mortlock and Ashley-Cooper are two of 11 players in the CA Brumbies line-up with Test experience.

Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore and lock Ben Hand will each make their first appearance in the CA Brumbies’ starting line-up while fellow new recruit Sitaleki Timani will also play his first Investec Super 14 match for the ACT-based province off the bench.

Moore joins CA Brumbies stalwarts Nic Henderson and Guy Shepherdson in the front row while Hand will partner Wallaby lock Mark Chisholm in the second row.

Julian Salvi has been awarded the ‘6’ jersey for the Investec Super 14’s opening fixture alongside George Smith and No.8 Stephen Hoiles, who will captain lead the CA Brumbies for the first time in the Investec Super 14.

After two strong trial performances, Patrick Phibbs will start at scrumhalf with Christian Lealiifano assuming the key playmaker’s role. Fullback Mark Gerrard, and wingers Francis Fainifo and Clyde Rathbone will make up the CA Brumbies’ back three.

CA Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend said his side is aware of the need to start the season on a winning note.

“In such a short competition you must start well,” he said. “Historically ‘the House of Pain’ has been a tough venue for visiting teams and we realise that if we’re not 100% focused on the task at hand we’ll be in for a very long night.

“We were forced to delay naming the side with one or two guys recovering from knocks sustained against the Waratahs, however, they have all pulled through the beginning of the week without any problem and are ready to take the field on Friday night.

“There has been a great attitude and enthusiasm within the squad this week and we’re all very excited that game time is almost here.”

The CA Brumbies bench features 2008 Wallaby Spring Tour representatives Ben Alexander and Peter Kimlin, Australia A representatives John Ulugia and Joshua Holmes, and 2008 Investec Super 14 Rookie of the Year, Tyrone Smith.

CA Brumbies v Highlanders
Carisbrook, Dunedin (NZ)
Friday, 13 February 2009
Kick-off: 7.35pm local time (5.35pm AEDST)

1. Nic Henderson 2. Stephen Moore 3. Guy Shepherson 4. Ben Hand 5. Mark Chisholm 6. Julian Salvi 7. George Smith 8. Stephen Hoiles (c) 9. Patrick Phibbs 10. Christian Lealiifano 11. Francis Fainifo 12. Stirling Mortlock 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper 14. Clyde Rathbone 15. Mark Gerrard


16. John Ulugia 17. Ben Alexander 18. Sitaleki Timani 19. Peter Kimlin 20. Joshua Holmes 21. Tyrone Smith 22. Matt Toomua

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