Brumbies name 10 Wallabies to start against ACT
February 6, 2014
Ben Mowen will play the first game of his last season in Canberra © Getty Images
Stephen Larkham has named 10 Wallabies to start the Brumbies' trial against the ACT XV on Saturday, the head coach keen to test run his strongest possible side.
Skipper Ben Mowen returns to No.8 in an impressive back-row that includes Wallabies David Pocock and Scott Fardy. The front-row boasts similar experience, featuring Test stalwarts Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore, as well as dynamic young Wallabies loosehead Scott Sio. Christian Leali'ifano (ankle), Pat McCabe (head knock) and Tevita Kuridrani (suspended), meanwhile, will watch from the sidelines.
The match at Viking Park, Canberra, provides an opportunity for the Brumbies to build momentum ahead of their Super Rugby season opener against Queensland Reds on February 22, after losing 15-11 to the Highlanders in Queenstown last Friday.
"Compared to last week, we will now have our Wallabies back, that's nine extra players in the starting team," Larkham said. "We're trying to get our best team on the paddock. This is pretty close to the team we'll be starting with in two weeks."
Matt Toomua will direct at fly-half outside back-up Wallabies No.9 Nic White, while speedsters Henry Speight, Joe Tomane and Jesse Mogg will look to light up out wide.
"It's been a while since we've been out there, so it's just good fun to go and put your head in some dark places," White said. "We'll blow out some cobwebs and try some things."
Japan international Harumichi Tatekawa will swap with Speight between centre and wing after a solid display against the Highlanders.
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Joe Tomane, Henry Speight, Andrew Smith, Harumichi Tatekawa, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (c), David Pocock, Scott Fardy, Jack Whetton, Leon Power, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Res: Ruan Smith, Siliva Siliva, Ruaidhri Murphy, Lachlan Murphy, Fotu Auelua, Jordan Smiler, Jarrad Butler, Michael Dowsett, Lionel Cronje, Rodney Iona, Clyde Rathbone, Stephan Van Der Walt, Robbie Coleman.