TEAM NEWS: Brumbies duo rested, McCaffrey to start against Reds

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Brumbies duo Tom Cusack and Toni Pulu will sit out their round 18 clash against the Reds but their Test stars will be lining up for their last regular season match.

Coach Dan McKellar has picked a strong lineup to face Queensland despite having already sewn up a finals spot and the Australian conference with last weekend's win over the Waratahs.

Sitting third on the log, the Brumbies would need the Jaguares to lose to the Sunwolves for their position to change but they will host a quarter-final no matter what happens in their match this weekend.

The Brumbies have already well and truly satisfied their Test resting requirements this season and McKellar aid the changes this week were about giving 

We've thought about it. There won't be wholesale changes, there'll be a couple. It's not necessarily in and around Wallabies, it's around guys that have had high workloads or higher than they're used to I suppose so that'll all come into consideration but there won't be wholesale changes. Confidence, momentum, that's important at this time of year.

Cusack has stepped up in the absence of David Pocock this season and McKellar said he felt it was time to give the tireless flanker a rest.

"He's played a lot of footy, Tommy," he said.

"I think our backrowers have played a lot of minutes on game day but also had heavy workloads in and around training as well.

"So, "Sacky"deserves a spell, gets through a lot of work from one game to the next and he'll enjoy the rest."

Tom Wright and Andy Muirhead will start on the wings with Pulu rested and Henry Speight still sidelined with injury.

Pulu missed the six weeks at the start of the season with a cheekbone injury but has been a regular fixture of the Brumbies' side since he returned.

"I think he's played more games consecutively than he has in his career so gives Wrighty an opportunity as well in another position, bit of space out wide," McKellar said.

Scott Sio will start over James Slipper in his 100th Super Rugby game while Locky McCaffrey comes into the starting team at no. 8.

On the bench, Murray Douglas replaces Darcy Swain while Ryan Lonergan, Jordan jackson-Hope and Len Ikitau have all been added to the 23.

The Reds named their team earlier on Thursday with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to return to the team after a rest week.

The Brumbies take on the Reds on Saturday June 15 at GIO Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Kayo and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.

TEAM

Brumbies to face Reds

1. Scott Sio

2. Folau Fainga'a

3. Allan Alaalatoa

4. Rory Arnold

5. Sam Carter

6. Rob Valetini

7. Jahrome Brown

8. Locky McCaffrey

9. Joe Powell

10. Christian Lealiifano

11. Tom Wright

12. Irae Simone

13. Tevita Kuridrani

14. Andy Muirhead

15. Tom Banks

Reserves

16. Connal McInerney

17. James Slipper

18. Les Makin

19. Murray Douglas

20. Pete Samu

21. Ryan Lonergan

22. Jordan Jackson-Hope

23. Len Ikitau