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By Brumbies Media Unit
Jordan Smiler has been selected to make his Super Rugby debut this Friday night against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The 27 year old joined the University of Canberra Brumbies over the off season having made his way to Australia first through Waikato in New Zealand’s ITM Cup and then the international sevens’ circuit.
A tough competitor, Smiler fills the blind-side flanker’s jumper for Friday night’s clash. Smiler is one of six changes to the starting line-up, with Matt Toomua (flyhalf), Andrew Smith (outside centre), Stephen Moore (hooker) and Sam Carter (lock) also set to return.
Tevita Kuridrani and Pat McCabe move back to the bench while Scott Fardy has been ruled out with an ankle injury. Skipper Ben Mowen has been selected at No. 8, while Fotu Auelua returns to the bench. Robbie Coleman also drops from the match-day 22 as does Zack Holmes.
“Jordan has been with us for some time now and understands all the structures and systems in place, he’ll slot in nicely on Friday night,” White said.
“He spent a bit of time with us training during the 2012 season and he’s been a great guy to have around the club.
“Andrew Smith has had a few weeks out and makes his return to the starting side this week. Andrew was fantastic for us in the early games this year so we will be looking for him to recapture some of that form on Friday.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies have never played at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium, the competition’s only venue with a roof. The Brumbies haven’t won against the Highlanders in New Zealand since 2009 when the visitors snuck home, 33-31.
In 2011 the Highlanders managed to claw one back over the Brumbies thanks to two tries to hooker Jason Rutledge. Last year the Brumbies again managed to even the ledger when Joe Tomane scored a cracking double at Canberra Stadium.
Highlanders v University of Canberra Brumbies
Canberra Stadium, Bruce
Kick-off: 5.35pm (AEST)
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Stephen Moore
3. Dan Palmer
4. Peter Kimlin
5. Sam Carter
6. Jordan Smiler
7. George Smith
8. Ben Mowen (c)
9. Nic White
10. Matt Toomua
11. Joe Tomane
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Andrew Smith
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg
16. Siliva Siliva
17. Scott Sio
18. Fotu Auelua
19. Colby Faingaa
20. Ian Prior
21. Pat McCabe
22. Tevita Kuridrani
The Western Force return to NIB Stadium for the second time this season and the Honey Badger wants sea of blue fans to “get your carcass on the chair”! In 2014 the Force had a slow start to the season, before finishing off strongly, and they will be hoping for a repeat after winning just one of their opening four matches this season!
The Queensland Reds are struggling with injury and form at present, and they’ve been handed another massive blow this weekend with James O’Connor (leg) & Lachie Turner (concussion) being ruled out. Suffering a 23-5 loss to the NSW Waratahs on the weekend, the Reds will run onto Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night looking to turn their season around after just one win to their name in the opening four rounds coming against the Western Force two weeks ago!