Toomua out, but Sio back for Brumbies

Date published: May 28 2015

The Brumbies welcome Wallaby prop Scott Sio back from a two month stint on the sidelines for Friday's clash with the Bulls in Canberra.

Aside from a 60-minute run with the Tuggeranong Vikings last weekend, Sio hasn't been involved seen since Round 9 in Auckland when he strained his medial ligament against the Blues.

But having come through the match with the Vikings unscathed, Sio has been handed the task of stabilising the Brumbies scrum against an experienced Bulls pack.

Matt Toomua could not prove his fitness after suffering a left ankle injury in Johannesburg earlier this month and is out for at least one more week. Robbie Coleman returns to the starting side to face the Bulls, bringing Nigel Ah Wong onto the bench in his place.

Prop JP Smith will drop out of the matchday 23, providing an opportunity for up-and-comer Allan Alaalatoa to make an impact in the second half.

Sio said he was pleased to be back in the frame for selection.

"It was a good to have a hit out with the Vikings, I love to get out there with the club boys and we got a result. We made a call last Friday if everything was fine after 40 minutes I'd go another 20 and after all that I've come out 100 per cent," he said.

"I don't need to add too much, that last game against the Lions we saw the boys really change things up and get a result. My role will be just play as part of that team, to do my job at set-piece and just generally have a crack."

The Brumbies face their third South African side in as many rounds on Friday having come back from the Republic two weeks ago. Fresh from a bye and a win in Johannesburg, the Brumbies will be full of confidence knowing the Finals are just three wins away.

Sio's return leaves the injured list looking short, with just Toomua, Fotu Auelua, Lausii Taliauli and Sean Doyle remaining on the sidelines.

It's been eight years since the Bulls have posted a win in Canberra, but the games are always tight. In 2009 just one point separated the two teams while in 2013 a penalty after the siren handed the Brumbies a narrow win.

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

Date: Friday, May 29
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off:  19:40 local (09:40 GMT, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann, Ed Martin
TMO: Ian Smith