Keo.co.za brings you news from Australia’s Super Rugby franchises.
Chapman boost for Brumbies – Mitch Chapman is back from suspension and will start against the Crusaders this Friday. Colby Faingaa moves to openside to accommodate Chapman in the back row, while Julian Salvi drops to the bench.
Brumbies – 15 Pat McCabe, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Matt Giteau (c),9 Josh Valentine, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Colby Faingaa, 6 Mitch Chapman, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Steve Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Subs: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Peter Kimlin, 19 Julian Salvi, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Matt Toomua, 22 Christian Lealiifano.
Force reshuffle back row – Matt Hogson takes over from David Pocock at openside flank for the Force’s match against the Blues in Perth.
Pocock is likely to miss six weeks with a knee injury sustained against the Sharks last weekend. Richard Brown lines up at blindside flanker and Ben McCalman moves from the second-row to No.8. Sam Wykes takes McCalman’s spot at lock.
In the backline, Nick Cummins starts at outside centre in place of Mitch Inman (elbow injury) while Alfie Mafi will start on the wing.
Force - 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Alfie Mafi, 13 Nick Cummins, 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 David Smith, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Richard Brown, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Ben Whittaker, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Tevita Metuisela, 19 Jono Jenkins, 20 James Stannard, 21 Matt Brandon, 22 Pat Dellit.
Bernie backs Gits - Stephen Larkham says Matt Giteau is still the right man to play flyhalf for the Brumbies.
Giteau has failed to ignite the Brumbies’ backline thus far and is under pressure to keep his place ahead of Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano. However, the former Brumbies and Wallabies iconic flyhalf Larkham believes Giteau should continue in the position.
‘I think [Giteau] is going well there, the team certainly responds well to him when he’s at flyhalf,’ Larkham said. ‘He gets a lot of touches on the ball which is what we want and one of our priorities is to get the ball into our playmaker’s hands as much as possible.’