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Speight wins last spot in Brumbies starting XV

Fijian flyer Henry Speight.

Fijian flyer Henry Speight. Photo: Getty Images

Fijian flyer Henry Speight has won the battle for the last spot in the ACT Brumbies starting XV as they prepare to begin their Super Rugby season against the Queensland Reds on Saturday night.

Speight will join Clyde Rathbone on the wings with Joseph Tomane moving to the bench for the round-one clash at Canberra Stadium.

Despite Tomane making his Wallabies debut last season, his injury interrupted pre-season allowed Speight to keep his place in the starting team.

Rathbone is making his comeback after retiring in 2009.

Brumbies coach Jake White named his team on Thursday morning with only Pat McCabe and Josh Mann-Rea not available for selection.

White opted to throw Rathbone straight back into Super Rugby after a three-year absence and has no doubt the former Wallabies winger can recapture his past form.

Marquee recruit David Pocock will make his Brumbies debut in the match while Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano will resume their flyhalf-inside centre combination.

Toomua (knee) and Lealiifano (ankle) both suffered season-ending injuries last year.

White wants 20,000 fans at the Australian derby match as the Brumbies try to stamp their authority as Australia’s No1 team.

The Reds have beaten the Brumbies four of the past five matches played between the teams.

The Reds had never won in Canberra in Super Rugby history until their triumph in 2011 and Queensland’s win at Canberra Stadium last season cost the Brumbies a spot in the Super Rugby finals.

The Brumbies are urging fans to dress for a ‘‘gold rush’’ at the round one match.

BRUMBIES TEAM

1. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Dan Palmer, 4. Sam Carter, 5. Scott Fardy, 6. Peter Kimlin, 7. David Pocock, 8. Ben Mowen, 9. Nic White, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Henry Speight, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 13. Andrew Smith, 14. Clyde Rathbone, 15. Jesse Mogg. Reserves: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Ruaidhri Murphy, 18. Colby Faingaa, 19. Fotu Auelua, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Joseph Tomane, 22. Robbie Coleman

 

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