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Speight starts for Brumbies

15th May 2014 07:10

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Henry Speight

Straight back into the starting XV: Henry Speight

Henry Speight returns to the wing for his first appearance since fracturing his jaw in Round 5 when the Brumbies take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Australia's top try-scorer in 2012 and 2013, Speight has been limited to just four appearances for the Brumbies in 2014, after collecting a loose elbow against the Waratahs which required surgery.

But since then, Speight has returned to full health and is now ready to climb into the Cheetahs. He comes into the team for Joe Tomane who fractures his eye socket last week against the Sharks.

South African-born JP Smith returns to the bench in place of Ruaidhri Murphy in an otherwise unchanged team from the one which beat the Sharks in Canberra last Saturday.

Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher said the Cheetahs presented the Brumbies with a significant challenge.

"The Cheetahs are a side we haven't beaten in Africa since 2009 and who always put in a strong performance against the Brumbies," said Fisher.

"It's pleasing to have a guy like Henry available for selection. We all know how dangerous he is with the ball so it'll be good to see him take advantage of any opportunities which may come his way.

"We are focussed on getting this tour off to a good start and claiming a win over the Cheetahs on the Highveld would certainly tick a few boxes."

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Fotu Auelua, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Pat McCabe

Date: Saturday, May 17
Venue: Free State Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off:19.10 local (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

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