Brumbies change two for Force

Date published: March 8 2017

Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has made two changes to his starting XV for the clash with the Western Force in Canberra on Friday.

Prop Ben Alexander and flanker Ben Hyne will start their first games of the 2017 Super Rugby season in place of Nic Mayhew, who drops to the bench, and Scott Fardy respectively.

The fixture sees a return to the team for Hyne who made his debut against the Reds last season but saw his maiden appearance turn sour when he suffered an injury early in the game, curtailing his involvement.

Alexander meanwhile will make his 133rd Brumbies appearance lining up in the front row alongside fellow Wallabies Josh Mann-Rea and Allan Alaalatoa.

Blake Enever earns selection onto the Brumbies bench with Larkham opting for a 6-2 split in favour of forwards amongst the replacements. Enever, whose last appearance was in the second row in the quarter-final loss to the Highlanders comes in for Isaac Thompson.

Otherwise the team is as it was for the clash with the Sharks with young half-back pairing Joe Powell and Wharenui Hawera continuing their burgeoning combination and Kyle Godwin linking up in the centre alongside Australian powerhouse Tevita Kuridrani.

Up front the hardworking Chris Alcock and Jordan Smiler form a solid and dependable looking back-row combination alongside Hyne, whilst Rory Arnold and skipper Sam Carter form the second-row partnership for the twelfth time in the last fourteen Brumbies games.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Ben Hyne, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Lolo Fakaosilea, 22 De Wet Roos, 23 Andrew Smith

Date: Friday, March 10
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19:45 local (08:45 GMT)
Referee: Peter Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

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