Pocock to start for Brumbies

Date published: April 2 2015

Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has shuffled both his forwards and backs for this weekend’s clash with the Cheetahs in Canberra.

David Pocock returns to openside flanker while Tevita Kuridrani has been ruled out through injury for Saturday's game.

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 inclusion pushes Jarrad Butler to number eight and Ita Vaea to the bench.

Blake Enever makes his first career start at lock, moving Rory Arnold out of the matchday 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 superstar to take his place as Henry Speight makes his first start at outside centre on Saturday.

He is 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.

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,” he explained.

“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 number eight.

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

Date: Saturday, April 4
Kick-off: 19:40 local, 21:40 NZDT, 10:40 SAST, 09:40 GMT
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner, James Leckie
TMO: Peter Marshall