Super Rugby Teams: Chiefs start legend, Brumbies create brother history

Thu, 20/05/2021, 05:38 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Lachlan Lonergan joins his brother Ryan in the starting side. Photo: Getty Images

The Chiefs have opted to start legend Liam Messam as they welcome the Brumbies to FMG Stadium.

Messam, who was initially called in as injury cover, replaces Pita Gus Sowakula, who reverts to the bench.

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Hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho and tighthead prop Sione Mafileo will join prop Aidan Ross in the starting front row, replacing Angus Ta'avao (hip) and Nathan Harris.

Atu Moli makes his long-awaited return to rugby via the bench after a two-year absence due to hip and quad injuries.

“We are really happy for Atu, he’s had a treacherous run with injury, but has maintained a whole lot of positivity and continues to add heaps of value off the field in and around our environment," coach Clayton McMillan said.

"He has worked himself back to a point where he is ready to get back on the field and it is great for everyone in rugby to see.”

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Meanwhile, the Brumbies have handed hooker Lachlan Lonergan the chance to start in the same side alongside brother Ryan.

They become the first Canberra brothers to start together for the Brumbies in their history, with Lachlan replacing Folau Fainga'a.

"It's a great story to have the Lonergan brothers starting together for a Brumbies Super Rugby side in New Zealand," coach Dan McKellar said.

"They're both great young men who come from a great family who grew up supporting the Brumbies and now they get a chance to pull on the jersey together at the place they made their debuts. It's really special."

Ryan retains the starting halfback position with Nic White still a week away from returning from a hip flexor complaint.

Tom Cusack returns from a leg injury via the bench, joined by Connal McInerney, who has made the long recovery from a fibula fracture.

CHIEFS (1-15): Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Sione Mafileo, Josh Lord, Tupou Vaa'i, Liam Messam, Lachlan Boshier, Luke Jacobson, Brad Weber (c), Damian McKenzie, Jonah Lowe, Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Bailyn Sullivan, Chase Tiatia

Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Atu Moli, Zane Kapeli, Pita Gus Sowakula, Xavier Roe, Rameka Poihipi, Kaleb Trask

INs: Rameka Poihipi, Kaleb Trask, Atu Moli, Bradley Slater, Sione Mafileo

OUTs: Nathan Harris, Angus Ta'avao, Shaun Stevenson, Joe Apikotoa, Bryn Gatland

BRUMBIES (1-15): Scott Sio, Lachlan Lonergan, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Henry Stowers, Rory Scott, Rob Valetini, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Tom Wright, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Solomone Kata, Tom Banks

Reserves: Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Tom Hooper, Tom Cusack, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Bayley Kuenzle, Mack Hansen

INs: Connal McInereny, Bailey Kuenzle, Tom Cusack

OUTs: Folau Fainga'a, Luke Reimer, Reesjan Pasitoa

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