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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Slipper returns to bolster Brumbies front row

James Slipper is set to return to the Brumbies starting team, with Nic White named to lead the side against the Western Force this Friday night, 26 March at GIO Stadium.
White has skippered the side twice previously, becoming the youngest ever Brumbies captain when he led the team out against the Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium in 2013 at just 22 years of age.  
With the Brumbies front row stockes depleted due to injuries, Slipper swap sides at scrum time to anchor the Brumbies set piece from tighthead.

Joining the Wallabies prop in the starting front-row for the first time is Brumbies pathways loosehead prop Harry Lloyd, with Folau Fainga’a at hooker.
Darcy Swain and Cadeyrn Neville will form the second row pairing once again.
Rob Valetini and Pete Samu start at blindside flanker and number eight respectively, the latter having scored a double last time out against the Queensland Reds.

Jahrome Brown is the only inclusion to the Brumbies backrow, with Tom Cusack ruled out through injury.
In the backs, White continues his partnership with Noah Lolesio in the halves.
An unchanged remaining backline sees Irae Simone and Len Ikitau continue their growing combination in the centres. 
The Brumbies back three of Mack Hansen, Andy Muirhead and Tom Banks completes the starting side.
There are a number of potential Brumbies debutants on the bench, including newly arrived tighthead Sefo Kautai. 
Providing impact on the other side of the scrum will be Brumbies pathways prop Fred Kaihea who has been promoted to the senior squad as injury cover.

The 21-year-old loosehead trained with the squad through preseason and has produced a number of eye-catching displays for the Brumbies Runners and with the Queanbeyan Whites in the John I Dent Cup. 
Hooker Lachlan Lonergan completes the front-row finishers, the ACT product one of 12 Brumbies pathways graduates in the matchday selection. 

Lock James Tucker returns to the Brumbies playing 23, with Canberra local Rory Scott set to make his first appearance for the club as the backrow finisher. The 20-year-old Marist College and Brumbies Pathways product has impressed at club level for the Canberra Royals and with the Brumbies Runners in recent years.
Vice-captain Ryan Lonergan will be the Brumbies finishing halfback, with teenage playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa and the electric Issak Fines-Leleiwasa completing the Brumbies selection.

Meanwhile, the Force have named a similar team to the one that narrowly lost to the ladder leading Queensland Reds last week.

Winger Marcel Brache and fullback Jack McGregor are the only two inclusions to their starting side, replacing the injured Rob Kearney and Richard Kahui.

Click here for match details.

Full Brumbies and Force teams

  Brumbies  Force
1Harry Lloyd 1Tom Robertson
2Folau Fainga’a 2Feleti Kaitu’u
3James Slipper 3Greg Holmes
4Darcy Swain 4Sitaleki Timani
5Cadeyrn Neville 5Jeremy Thrush
6Rob Valenti 6Fergus Lee-Warner
7Jahrome Brown 7Kane Koteka
8Pete Samu 8Brynard Standard (C)
9Nic White (C) 9Tomas Cubelli
10Noah Lolesio 10Jake McIntyre
11Mack Hansen 11Marcel Brache
12Irae Simone 12Henry Taefu
13Len Ikitau 13Tevita Kuridrani
14Andy Muirhead 14Byron Ralston
15Tom Banks 15Jack McGregor
 Replacements  Replacements
16Lachlan Lonergan 16Jack Winchester
17Fred Kaihea 17Angus Wagner
18Sefo Kautai 18Santiago Medrano
19James Tucker 19Ryan McCauley
20Rory Scott 20Tim Anstee
21Ryan Lonergan 21Ian Prior
22Reesjan Pasitoa 22Jono Lance
23Issak Fines-Leleiwasa 23Jordan Olowofela

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