Pocock returns, Lealiifano at 10 for Brumbies

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has made good on his promise to reshuffle his struggling team, as they face the Lions.

Injured backrowers David Pocock and Isi Naisarani return to the lineup, with Christian Lealiifano stepping into the primary playmaking role, starting at 10.

Naisarani was injured in the Brumbies' round 11 loss to the Crusaders, while Pocock has not been in the side since round 10.

McKellar has rejigged his attack, with Lealiifano at flyhalf, teaming up with Kyle Godwin, who has been playing club rugby after struggling with form.

Usual playmaker Wharenui Hawera has been left out of the matchday 23 to take on the Lions.

There are some big milestones up for the Brumbies in Johannesburg, with Tevita Kuridrani set to play his 100th Super Rugby game and veteran prop Ben Alexander will notch his 150th Super Rugby game, joining an exclusive club.

The Brumbies have opted for a six-two bench as they face off against an abrasive Lions side, that had a mixed Australia-New Zealand tour, with Andrew Smith returning to the 23.

The Brumbies take on the Lions on Sunday morning AEST, kicking off on Saturday 5:15pm local, Sunday 1:15am AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS


IN: David Pocock, Isi Naisarani, Kyle Godwin, Andrew Smith

OUT: Faalelei Sione, Lolo Fakaosilea (released), Lausii Taliauli, Jordan Jackson-Hope

1. Scott Sio

2. Folau Fainga’a

3. Allan Alaalatoa

4. Rory Arnold

5. Sam Carter

6. Rob Valetini

7. David Pocock

8. Isi Naisarani

9. Joe Powell

10. Christian Lealiifano

11. Andrew Muirhead

12. Kyle Godwin

13. Tevita Kuridrani

14. Henry Speight

15. Tom Banks


16. Robbie Abel

17. Nic Mayhew

18. Ben Alexander

19. Blake Enever

20. Lachlan McCaffrey

21. Tom Cusack

22. Matt Lucas

23. Andrew Smith