Brumbies bring in Wallabies for Reds
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has named Wallabies trio Folau Fainga’a, Nic White and Tevita Kuridrani in the starting side for their top of the table clash with the Queensland Reds on Saturday.
Fainga’a will join fellow Wallaby Scott Sio in the starting front row alongside inspirational skipper Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead prop.
Up and coming lock Darcy Swain has also been recalled to the run-on side, packing down next to the experienced campaigner Cadeyrn Neville.
Two strong performances as a finisher sees Rob Valetini return at blindside flank, reigniting his combination with Will Miller and Pete Samu in the back row.
Wallabies World Cup No.9 Nic White will start for the side for the first time since 2015 after making his return to Australian rugby in Round Eight and will partner Bauley Kuenzle who celebrates re-signing the franchise with another start in the No.10 jersey.
Second playmaker Irae Simone will help steer the Brumbies attack from inside centre with the experienced Tevita Kuridrani making his return to familiar No.13 jersey on Saturday.
The rest of the outside backs remain unchanged with last week’s try scorers Tom Wright, Andy Muirhead and Tom Banks maintaining a consistent feel across the back three.
After strong showings in the starting side, Connal McInerney will again be asked to provide spark as a finisher, alongside James Slipper and Tom Ross in the front row.
Impressively athletic lock Nick Frost gets another chance in the matchday 23 with vice-captain Lachlan McCaffrey the other forward finisher.
Local product Ryan Lonergan will likely see minutes at scrumhalf with the damaging duo of Len Ikitau and Solomone Kata adding plenty of spark to the backs should they be injected into the game.
The match will see the side wear their Indigenous jersey representing the Ngunnawal people for the second time this season, with the Reds also wearing their First Nations strip at Suncorp Stadium.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “It’s great to be able to recall players with so much experience into the side this week.
“Whitey has been great for the group since returning and the likes of Folau and Tev have been training really well over the past couple of weeks and have earned their place in the team.
“The Reds are undefeated at Suncorp Stadium this year and we haven’t played our best up there in the last couple of years so we know the challenge in front of us and we’ll be up for it on Saturday night.”
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simon, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bayley Kuenzle, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Len Ikitau, 23 Solomone Kata.
Date: Saturday, September 5
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.20 (09.20 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy
TMO: Jordan Way