Wallaby McCabe on bench for Brumbies
April 18, 2013
Pat McCabe will start from the bench for the Brumbies for the second week in a row © PA Photos
Wallaby centre Pat McCabe has again been put on the Brumbies' bench for the top-of-the-table Super Rugby clash with the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
Brumbies coach Jake White has made two changes to the starting line-up that downed the Highlanders 30-19 last Friday.
Big, bustling Fotu Auelua returns to start at No.8, with skipper Ben Mowen moving to blindside flanker and last week's debutant Jordan Smiler going back to the bench.
And Tevita Kuridrani returns at outside centre in place of the injured Andrew Smith (hamstring). Former Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone comes into the match-day 22 as the only change to the bench.
McCabe's naming on the bench for the second consecutive week comes as a surprise as the Brumbies were happy with the 19-Test centre's direct style of play in his comeback from injury against the Kings in round eight.
Kuridrani's performances this year while Smith and McCabe were injured have impressed White so much that he decided to give the 22-year-old Fijian powerhouse first crack alongside Christian Lealiifano in the centres against the "benchmark" Australian side at Suncorp Stadium.
"To get Tevita on the field after he did such a great job combining with Christian, I just thought I'd keep it the same," White said.
The winner of the clash will hold the competition lead at the midway point of the season, while the victor will also claim the Rod Macqueen Cup after the Brumbies won their first-round encounter 24-6.
"The Reds present us with a massive challenge, but one we need to overcome if we're to progress in this competition," White said. "They have enough international experience to make things very difficult for us on Saturday night."
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane; Matt Toomua, Nic White; Fotu Auelea, George Smith, Ben Mowen (captain); Sam Carter, Peter Kimlin; Dan Palmer, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Replacements: Siliva Siliva, Scott Sio, Jordan Smiler, Colby Faingaa, Ian Prior, Pat McCabe, Clyde Rathbone.