Valentine returns as Brumbies change five

The Brumbies have made five changes to their starting XV to take on the Waratahs in their Super 14 Week 11 blockbuster at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

 

Outside centre Andrew Smith and openside flanker Colby Faingaa are in line to make their starting debuts after both were named on the bench last weekend against the Hurricanes.

Smith’s inclusion sees utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper return to the wing in place of Alfie Mafi, who will start from the reserves list. Faingaa’s maiden run-on start comes at the expense of fellow 18-year-old breakaway Michael Hooper, who will start as a run-on reserve.


After missing last week’s fixture through injury, scrumhalf Josh Valentine and lock Mitchell Chapman are ready to make their return to the ACT run-on XV.


Valentine has recovered from a hamstring ailment to replace Patrick Phibbs while Chapman has overcome a hip injury and will start in favour of Ben Hand. Chapman will pack down alongside Wallaby lock Mark Chisholm who has retained his place in the Brumbies’ second row.


Brumbies Academy and Australian Sevens star Brackin Karauria-Henry has again been included on the bench and is still in line for his Super 14 debut, after not being required against the Hurricanes.


Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend says his side is excited about the challenge Saturday night’s game presents.


“Every match from here on in is final for us,” he said.


“I believe last week’s performance was an aberration and the guys have shown through the week that the problem can easily be remedied. This season we’ve continually put ourselves into a prime attacking position and all we need is for our communication to be clear and exact when we’re down that end to ensure we capitalise on the lead-up work.


“The Brumbies have always had a great rivalry with NSW. They’re fixtures where everyone is looking to have a big game and I’m sure that Saturday night will provide another high-quality chapter and a great spectacle between the two sides.”


Brumbies


1. Ben Alexander , 2. Stephen Moore , 3. Salesi Ma’afu , 4. Mitchell Chapman ,5. Mark Chisholm, 6. Rocky Elsom , 7. Colby Faingaa , 8. Stephen Hoiles (c) , 9. Josh Valentine , 10. Matt Giteau , 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper , 12. Tyrone Smith , 13. Andrew Smith , 14. Pat McCabe , 15. Julian Huxley


Reserves:16. Huia Edmonds , 17. Guy Shepherdson, 18. Ben Hand , 19. Michael Hooper , 20. Patrick Phibbs , 21. Brackin Kaurauria-Henry , 22. Alfie Mafi

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