Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Smith, Wallabies returns for must-win clash

Wed, 09/06/2021, 05:05 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Famous faces speak about the opportunity presented by Australia's Bid to host Rugby World Cup 2027.

The Brumbies have welcomed back a host of Wallabies to the starting side as they look to build off last week's victory.

Nic White, Irae Simone and Tom Wright have been elevated from the bench in their final match of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

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Hooker Billy Pollard is also set to make his debut from the bench, joined by Tom Ross and Harry Lloyd.

"We were really happy with the response from the team last weekend but we also have an expectation to finish the season on a positive note on Friday night," coach Dan McKellar said.

"There's no doubt Billy (Pollard) is an exceptional talent and he's worked hard on the training paddock, and has now had valuable game time in the John I Dent Cup and we're looking forward to seeing him take the next step in his career against the Highlanders."

Along with this, Rory Scott comes back into the side at openside flanker, with Tom Cusack dropping out of the side.

Bayley Kuenzle comes in for Noah Lolesio as the flyhalf overcomes a minor injury picked up during last week's win.

Len Ikitau beats three to score a scintillating solo try

As for the Highlanders, they have been boosted by the return of Aaron Smith.

The halfback missed their thumping win over the Waratahs as part of the All Blacks load management protocol.

He returns to the starting side, pushing Kayne Hammington back to the bench.

The only other change sees Hugh Renton swap places with James Lentjes in the starting side.

Reserve hooker Liam Coltman will become the Highlanders' most-capped hooker as he plays his 128th game for the club.

The Highlanders sit in second place, with only a superior for-and-against (+82) keeping them ahead of the Crusaders in the second and final spot for the FInal.

BRUMBIES (1-15): Scott Sio, Lachlan Lonergan, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Rory Scott, Henry Stowers, Nic White, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks

Reserves: Billy Pollard, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Tom Hooper, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa, Solomone Kata

INs: Billy Pollard, Rory Scott, Tom Ross, Reesjan Pasitoa

OUTs: Folau Fainga'a, Noah Lolesio, Tom Cusack, Sefo Kautai

HIGHLANDERS (1-15): Ethan De Groot, Ash Dixon (co-c), Siate Tokolahi, Bryn Evans, Pari Pari Parkinson, Hugh Renton, Billy Harmon, Kazuki Himeno, Aaron Smith (co-c), Mitch Hunt, Jona Nareki, Scott Gregory, Michael Collins, Sio Tomkinson, Josh Ioane

Reserves: Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Josh Hohneck, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes, Kayne Hammington, Sam Gilbert, Teariki Ben-Nicholas

INs: Aaron Smith,

OUTs: James Arscott

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