The CA Brumbies have named a re-shuffled lineup for their Capitals clash against the Hurricanes on Friday night.
In a clash which is vital to both teams finals chances, the Brumbies will be looking to gain some momentum and confidence off the back of last weeks demolition of the Cheetahs before heading towards the finals, whilst the Hurricanes who are coming off the bye, will be looking to get their season back on track and get their first win since round 3. The injury curse has struck again ruling out Matt Toomua with knee ligament damage sustained after hitting the goalpost pad in the process of scoring a try, Mitchell Chapman with a hip problem and Josh Valentine, who withdrew after failing to complete the Captain’s run after a re-occurrence of his hamstring injury. It’s a case of last man standing amongst the reserves as Andrew Smith returns after injuries to his ankle and groin and a new face has been added, Australian 7’s player Brackin Karauria-Henry.
The Brumbies know they will be in a for a tougher challenge than last week and will be looking to adapt to a different style of game. If they drop as much ball as they did against the Cheetahs they could be in for a long night against a team with plenty of attacking flair, particularly in the outside backs.
The team from Windy Wellington have suffered a blow with Piri Weepu, Scott Waldrom and Karl Lowe all unable to make the squad for various reasons, with Waldrom and Lowe’s absence leaving the Hurricanes without a recognised open side flanker meaning Nick Crosswell steps into the 7 jersey.
Although on paper the halves look light on experience, there are huge wraps on fly half Aaron Cruden, who will be sporting a new hair do after losing a bet with friends over the bye weekend. The decision to start Cruden leads to an attacking game plan to be implemented by the Hurricanes in the search for finals glory.
The midfield combination of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith will need to show all their All Black experience if they are to overcome the Brumbies at home where they boast an 80% winning home record, although the Hurricanes have won the last 3 fixture, including a win in Canberra in 2008.
|Ben Alexander||1||John Schwalger|
|Stephen Moore||2||Andrew Hore (c)|
|Salesi Ma’afu||3||Neemia Tialata|
|Ben Hand||4||Jeremy Thrush|
|Mark Chisholm||5||Michael Paterson|
|Rocky Elsom||6||Victor Vito|
|Michael Hooper||7||Nick Crosswell|
|Stephen Hoiles (c)||8||Rodney So’oialo|
|Patrick Phibbs||9||Tyson Keats|
|Matt Giteau||10||Aaron Cruden|
|Alfi Mafi||11||Hosea Gear|
|Tyrone Smith||12||Ma’a Nonu|
|Adam Ashley-Cooper||13||Conrad Smith|
|Pat McCabe||14||Tamati Ellison|
|Julian Huxley||15||Cory Jane|
|Huia Edmonds||16||Dane Coles|
|Guy Shepherdson||17||Jacob Ellison|
|Justin Harrison||18||Bryn Evans|
|Colby Faingaa||19||James Broadhurst|
|James Stannard||20||Chris Eaton|
|Brackin Karauria-Henry||21||Willie Ripia|
|Andrew Smith||22||David Smith|
|Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Andrew Lees (Aus)
TMO: Matthew Goddard (Aus)