Three changes for Brumbies

Date published: March 10 2016

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has made three changes to his starting XV for Friday's clash with the Western Force in Perth.

Brumbies lock Blake Enever and number eight Ita Vaea will both miss the match against the Force after picking up injuries in the 32-15 win over the Waratahs last Friday night at GIO Stadium.

Rory Arnold comes straight back into the starting side for Enever who injured his shoulder in the win over the Waratahs. Arnold played the first match of the 2016 Super Rugby season against the Hurricanes.

Moving into the starting side for the first time this season will be Jarrad Butler who replaces the injured Vaea. Butler played his 50th Super Rugby match last Friday night and will start at number eight. Vaea suffered a finger injury against the Waratahs and will miss at least one match.

Butler is a star on the rise in Australian Rugby. In 2014 he was named the Brumbies Brett Robinson Medal Winner for Players’ Player, while last year he was hand-picked by Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika to play for the Barbarians in London.

Taking Butler’s vacated spot on the reserve’s list is Canberra youngster, Tom Staniforth. Former Australian U20 and Australian Schoolboy representative Staniforth made his Super Rugby debut – and only Super Rugby appearance – in 2014 as an 19-year old against the Queensland Reds.

His elevation to the Brumbies matchday 23 comes after strong performances during pre-season trials and a standout 2015 of club rugby with Canberra Royals in the John I Dent Cup, where he received the competition’s highest individual honour, the MacDougall Medal.

The Brumbies have won seven of their last eight matches against the Force including a current winning streak of four matches, the longest in the history of this fixture. The last time the two sides met was in Perth, where the Brumbies won 33-20 to seal a spot in the 2015 Super Rugby finals series.

Following the match against the Force on Friday night, the Brumbies will head to South Africa for matches against the Stormers in Cape Town (19 March) and the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein ( 26 March).

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano (c), 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Joss Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Nigel Ah Wong

Date: Friday, March 11
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 19:05 local (11:05 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Referees: Damien Mitchelmore, Michael Hogan
TMO: Ian Smith