Pocock starts as Brumbies shuffle for Cheetahs

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has named a team with changes all round for the Cheetahs and with David Pocock returning to the starting side at open-side flanker.

Larkham has shuffled both his forwards and backs including one forced change as Tevita Kuridrani has been ruled out through injury.

Pocock’s second start for the year comes on the back of a solid return two weeks ago from the bench against the Waratahs. His return pushes Jarrad Butler to No.8 and Ita Vaea to the bench.

Blake Enever makes his first career start at lock moving Rory Arnold out of the match-day 23 while on the bench, Allan Alaalatoa comes into jersey number 17 for JP Smith.

With Kuridrani out, the Brumbies have dug up another Fijian super star to take his place and Henry Speight makes his first start at outside-centre on Saturday.

He’s joined in the backs by James Dargaville in his first career start on the wing while Nigel Ah Wong has been named on the bench and will likely make a Super Rugby debut sometime in the second half.

Head Coach Stephen Larkham said he was pleased with the opportunities his new players were taking on.

“We’ve made a number of changes throughout the team this week, some through injury and some just to rest players as it’s a long season,” Larkham said.

“David made a successful return to rugby last week and we’ll see him start, while Jarrad Butler, who’s been fantastic for us all year, moves to No.8.

“In the backs we’ve made one significant change with Tevita Kuridrani ruled out through injury for up to eight weeks, we’ve decided to go with Henry Speight. He’s itching to get his hands on the ball a little bit more and we’ve moved him to 13.

“Also in the starting side, Saturday night is James Dargaville’s first opportunity to start a Super Rugby game and he’ll feature out on the wing.”

Brumbies

1. Ben Alexander , 2. Stephen Moore (c) , 3. Scott Sio , 4. Blake Enever , 5. Sam Carter , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. David Pocock , 8. Jarrad Butler , 9. Nic White , 10. Matt Toomua , 11. James Dargaville , 12. Christian Lealiifano , 13. Henry Speight , 14. Joe Tomane , 15. Robbie Coleman

Replacements : 16. Josh Mann-Rea , 17. Allan Alaalatoa , 18. Ruan Smith , 19. Jordan Smiler , 20. Ita Vaea , 21. Michael Dowsett , 22. Lausii Taliauli , 23. Nigel Ah Wong

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