Brumbies reveal their pre-season captain
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: ACT local Ryan Lonergan will captain the Brumbies against the NSW Waratahs in this Saturday’s Super Rugby trial at Bowral club.
The scrumhalf will partner fellow Tuggeranong Viking Noah Lolesio, the Wallabies playmaker joined by Tom Banks, Darcy Swain and Scott Sio in the starting selection.
Sio will form the front row with the dynamic Billy Pollard at hooker, and pathways prop Remsy Lemisio at tighthead.
Tom Hooper earns a start in the second row alongside Swain having impressed in preseason.
Elite development squad (EDS) blindside Charlie Cale will wear Brumbies colours for the first time against the Waratahs, with Rory Scott occupying the No.7 jersey. Jahrome Brown will mark his return from injury at No.8.
Irae Simone and 2022 Brumbies recruit Hudson Creighton combine in the centres outside Lonergan and Lolesio.
On the left flank, Wests star and pathways speedster Declan Meredith will get a chance to impress in a Brumbies jersey for the first time.
On the right, Brumbies fans will get their first look at Chris Feauai-Sautia in ACT colours, the former Reds star has fit seamlessly into the Brumbies family.
Banks completes the starting side at fullback.
An extended bench sees Wallabies hooker Lachlan Lonergan, fellow ACT local Tom Ross and EDS prop Harry Vella as the front row finishers.
Lock’s Nick Frost and Cadeyrn Neville will see plenty of action while Goulburn’s Ed Kennedy will run out for his boyhood team for the first time at blindside flanker.
Luke Reimer will look to impress as the openside finisher with EDS number eight Titi Nofoagatatoa likely to represent the Brumbies for the first time having made the move to Canberra from Brisbane.
Lachie Albert will push for a Super Rugby debut in 2022 with minutes at scrumhalf while Rod Iona will finish at flyhalf.
After a stellar 2021 season, Len Ikitau will return to action in the centres off the bench while Andy Muirhead will look to continue his fine form last season as a finisher in the trial.
2022 recruits Ollie Sapsford and Cam Clark will run out for the first time as Brumbies, Clark having previously played three seasons at the Waratahs.
Jesse Mogg will mark his return to the Brumbies as one of the outside back finishers, with Queensland duo Nick Chapman and Nathan Carroll completing the Brumbies selection having trained well in the pre-season to date.
Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar said: “We’re excited about this group that will represent the Brumbies for the first time in 2022.”
“We wanted to get the right balance in the side, giving those who have been working hard since the start of preseason an opportunity with a view to getting others ready for round one.
“Given the amount of rugby some of our Wallabies played in 2021, we felt it was best to get some more work into them away from this game but they will all have a run in our internal trial and will be available for February 19 against the Force.”
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hudson Creighton, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Declan Meredith, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan (captain),
8 Jahrome Brown, 7 Rory Scott, 6 Charlie Cale, 5 Tom Hooper, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Remsy Lemisio, 2 Billy Pollard, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements – from: Lachlan Lonergan, Harry Vella, Tom Ross, Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Frost, Ed Kennedy, Luke Reimer, Titi Nofoagatatoa, Lachie Albert, Rod Iona, Andy Muirhead, Ollie Sapsford, Len Ikitau, Cam Clark, Jesse Mogg, Nick Chapman, Nathan Carroll.
Date: Saturday January 29
Venue: Bowral club, Bowral
Kick-off: 17.15 (06.15 GMT)