Planet Rugby

Smith on bench duty for Brumbies

11th July 2013 08:38

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George Smith Brumbies 2013

Riding pine: George Smith

The Brumbies have named Wallabies flanker George Smith on their bench for Saturday's clash against the Western Force in Perth.

The Canberra-based franchise's coach Jake White has included all seven of the Wallabies, who played in last weekend's Test series decider against the British and Irish Lions, in his matchday squad but, of those, Smith is the only player not included in the starting XV.

White said he wanted to reward Colby Faingaa, who has impressed in recent matches after Smith missed several matches with a knee injury.

"Not only that, but I think we're going to need George going into the big (finals series) games," White told AAP.

"We're going to need his experience, I'm going to need him to be 100 per cent."

The former Springbok coach revealed that Smith will get game-time against the Force and that his omission from the run-on side was not due to the head knock he suffered in the recent Test against the Lions in Sydney.

"He will get on," White said.

"I've got to make sure everyone is on the same page. He's not on the bench because of what happened last Saturday, he's on the bench because it's the best call for our team going forward."

"Our doctor was actually the (Test) match doctor as well. He's a very conservative doctor and he would never have been gung ho about a decision like that (letting Smith back onto the field against the Lions).

"And secondly I have no doubt that George himself wouldn't have gone back out onto the field if he didn't feel he was 100 per cent right.

"He's been all fine."

Faingaa was brilliant for the Brumbies in their victories over the Rebels and the Lions. First-choice scrum-half Nic White will miss the clash with the Force, due to a shoulder injury sustained against Rebels in Round 17,with Ian Prior starting in the number nine jersey.

"He's probably 75 per cent ready to go," White said.

"If it was a one-off game I would probably risk it.

"But we've got a couple more weeks of rugby and I've got to make sure he's ready next week."

Meanwhile, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Ben Mowen, Joe Tomane, Christian Lealiifano and Jesse Mogg were named to start in their usual positions following their return from Test duty, with fellow Wallabies squad members Scott Sio and Peter Kimlin also named in the starting XV.

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

Date: Saturday, July 13
Kick-off: 19:45 local (12:45 BST, 11:45 GMT)
Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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