Smith twins to anchor Brumbies scrum

Date published: April 23 2015

Twins JP Smith and Ruan Smith will anchor the Brumbies scrum in Friday's clash against the Highlanders in Canberra.

This will be the first time in Brumbies history that brothers will start together in the front row, with JP packing down at loosehead prop and Ruan on the other side of the scrum.

Not since George and Tyrone Smith in 2010 have two brothers started together, while Anthony and Saia Faingaa round out the only other sibling combination for the Brumbies, which was last sighted in 2008.  

Playing in special edition jerseys, the Brumbies have re-adjusted their tight-five significantly, with a new-look locking combination of Blake Enever and Jordan Smiler also set for a start. For Smiler, it’s his first start for 2015.

Ita Vaea claims the starting number eight jersey for the Highlanders match, moving Jarrad Butler to the bench, where he will be joined by Rory Arnold and Ben Alexander.

Robbie Coleman debuted at inside-centre back in 2010 and he will again register a cap there on Friday night. His move to the centres brings Jesse Mogg into the starting side at full-back for the first time in 2015 where he will be supported by Tevita Kuridrani who returns to the run-on side at outside centre after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Fly-half Christian Lealiifano said the Brumbies would need a big effort to get a win on Friday over the Highlanders but he was confident the team had enough in the tank to get there.

“Tevita [Kuridrani] and [Jesse] Moggy are looking pretty good, they’ve been training hard the last couple of weeks with the red bib so it’ll be good to get that little bit of experience back,” he explained.

“Moggy gives us great coverage with his kicking ability and Tevita with his size and ball carrying ability.

“It's always special to play a New Zealand side on Anzac weekend, to think about the special sacrifices people have made for us over the years so it’s a nice opportunity to represent the Brumbies on such a special day.”

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Michael Dowsett, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Jordan Smiler, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Rod Iona, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Date: Friday, April 24
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19:55 (09:55 GMT, 11:55 SAST, 21:55 NZST)
Referee: Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)