Fardy to lead Brumbies into battle

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Scott Fardy will lead the Brumbies for the first time on Saturday, with coach Stephen Larkham resting regular skipper Sam Carter for the crucial clash with the Reds.

Carter is one of three outs for the Australian Conference-leaders, with Rory Arnold set to start in his place alongside Blake Enever in the second row.

Fardy leads with his actions on field and forms part of the leadership group in Canberra so for Larkham, the decision to put the C next to his name for the first time was an easy one.

"Fards and Carts have a really good relationship and they've both been leading very well on the field," Larkham said.Sam Carter won't lead the Brumbies out against the Reds. Photo: Getty Images"I think Carts has done an exceptional job - particularly at the back ends of games in terms of controlling the composure and the execution of the players.

"That's a challenge for Fards now - his challenge will be making sure he maintains that composure throughout the game and at the back end of the game."

The decision to rest Carter in what shapes as a pivotal conference match is sure to raise a few eyebrows but Larkham said the decision was one the brains trust is comfortable with.

"The last couple of seasons we haven't maintained the motivation and we haven't given guys enough rest so they are nice and fresh when they are on the field," he said.

"You've got to be very careful with who you rotate, when you rotate and the opposition you are playing and we have taken that into consideration.Scott Sio gets his first start of 2017 against the Reds. Photo: Getty Images"It's always difficult to rotate guys out of the team because most of the guys want to play every week but for the overall health of the squad and the long term season, we think this is the best way going forward."

Brumbies favourite son Stephen Moore returns to GIO Stadium for the first time since making the move north and Larkham said some tweaks were in order to ensure the Wallabies skipper didn't give his new team the complete lowdown on how the Brumbies go about their business.

"Whenever you play another Australian side you have a pretty good understanding of how the Australian sides play and it's no different here," he said.

"With Steve, he's pretty fresh to this program and he knows exactly how we are playing so we have tweaked a few things this week to see if it will throw him out a bit."

Scott Sio headlines the other changes made to the 23 - the Wallabies prop set to start for the first time this season in place of Nic Mayhew, who will warm the bench.

Former Red Tom Banks gets his first Brumbies cap on the left wing in place of James Dargaville, who also drops back to the bench.

Jarrad Butler is also back on the bench for the Brumbies, as is Andrew Smith, with Jordan Jackson-Hope out of the squad.

TEAM

Brumbies team to take on the Reds

1. Scott Sio

2. Robbie Abel

3. Allan Alaalatoa

4. Rory Arnold

5. Blake Enever

6. Scott Fardy (C)

7. Chris Alcock

8. Jordan Smiler

9. Joe Powell

10. Wharenui Hawera

11. Tom Banks

12. Kyle Godwin

13. Tevita Kuridrani

14. Henry Speight

15. Aidan Toua

Reserves

16. Saia Fainga'a

17. Nic Mayhew

18. Ben Alexander

19. Tom Staniforth

20. Jarrad Butler

21. De Wet Roos

22. Andrew Smith

23. James Dargaville

The Brumbies take on the Reds on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au.

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