Brumbies v Waratahs - Super Rugby match preview
Last Updated: March 9, 2013 10:58am
Former Wallabies star George Smith is expected to make his first appearance for the Brumbies since 2010 for the clash against NSW Waratahs.
The veteran flanker signed a short-term contract with the club and will play for the Brumbies until May. The 110-Test Australian will start on the bench, but should get a run out in the game.
David Pocock has also made the starting line-up along with wing Henry Speight after his recovery from a rib injury.
Speight and Smith are the only changes to the team which beat the Rebels two weeks ago in Melbourne.
Head coach Jake White has 35 fit players to choose from for the first time since he joined the club at the end of 2011.
If the Brumbies win on Saturday night, it will be the first time since 2005 that the club has started a season with three consecutive wins.
The 'Tahs are again without Berrick Barnes and Bernard Foley and will be under immense pressure. Ben Volavola has added second-half spark thus far and will make his first start at No 15 with Israel Folau moving to right-wing in place of Tom Kingston.
The full-back is one of five changes to the starting side to play the Brumbies this weekend. The other newcomer is Souths lock, Sita Timani.
Wycliff Palu is absent which means Mitchell Chapman will move to blindside with Dave Dennis taking over at No 8.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (capt), 7 David Pocock, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 George Smith, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Joe Tomane
Waratahs: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Mitchell Chapman, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Greg Peterson, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Pat McCutcheon, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Lachie Turner
What they said...
Brumbies head coach Jake White
Since 2001, Smith has lost just one game against the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium and White said: "To have a player of George's quality wanting to come to the Brumbies says a lot about our organisation and where we are heading.
"George is a player who aligns himself with quality brands and winning teams. George is a proven winner. He's won big games here in Australia and overseas so we are looking to use that experience and attitude here at the Brumbies.
"In the context of the season this is a big game for us. It's great to have Henry back in the starting side after he missed the game against the Rebels. Henry scores a lot of tries and we will need him to be at his best on Saturday night."