Planet Rugby

Brumbies change five for Sharks

14th March 2013 10:12

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George Smith Brumbies v Waratahs 2013

George Smith: Starts at seven

Brumbies coach Jake White has made five changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's clash with the Sharks in Durban.

21-year-old prop Scott Sio makes his first career start at loose-head prop, with George Smith (open-side flanker), Fotu Auelua (number eight), Tevita Kuridrani (outside centre) and Joe Tomane (wing) all moving into the starting 15.

With Sio at loose-head, Ben Alexander slides across the scum to tight-head where he is usually seen playing for the Wallabies.

Coincidentally, Sio made his Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Sharks in 2012 and will now make his run-on debut in the same fixture a year later.

Captain Ben Mowen switches from the back of the scrum to blind-side flanker and Peter Kimlin to lock, while Scott Fardy and Clyde Rathbone drop to the bench.

Ruaidhri Murphy makes his first appearance on the bench since round one, while Andrew Smith and Dan Palmer drop out of the match-day 22.

With David Pocock set to miss the rest of the Super Rugby season, former Australian U20 skipper Colby Faingaa will also feature on the Brumbies bench in place of 129-game veteran, Smith. Despite being just 21 this is Faingaa's third tour of South Africa.

White believes the 2012 runners-up pose a huge test for his side.

"Traditionally this has been one of the Brumbies biggest games of the season," he said.

"To come away from Durban with four points is a huge challenge but one the team feels comfortable with.

"Scotty Sio has been working hard on his set-piece and fitness and it's nice to be able to hand him his first starting jersey.

"Likewise Tevita, Joe and Fotu are proven Super Rugby players and I'm looking forward to seeing those guys in full flight on Saturday.

"It's nice to be back in Durban, I've always enjoyed my time here and hopefully things stay like that after Saturday night."

Brumbies 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Fotu Auelua, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen (c), 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Clyde Rathbone.

Date: Saturday, March 16
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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