Rugby Union


ACT Brumbies set to start stars in trial before Super Rugby season

They have had their break, now the Brumbies' big-name Wallabies will be put to the test in the club's final trial before the start of the Super Rugby season.

Australian skipper Stephen Moore and David Pocock headline a list of returning stars set to play their first game since last year's World Cup, against the Queensland Reds on Friday.

Coach Stephen Larkham has named a full-strength 26-man squad for the clash in Brisbane, a fortnight out from their round one fixture against the Hurricanes. Moore and co-captain Christian Lealiifano, both rested from last week's 21-17 trial loss to the NSW Waratahs, will start, as will Wallabies flankers Scott Fardy and Pocock.

Fardy's inclusion comes  a few days after he was reportedly sent to hospital following a car accident in Canberra's CBD.

"This is our last trial so we're trying to get as many minutes out of these guys as possible," Larkham said on Thursday.

Lealiifano has been named at No.10, with Matt Toomua shifted back to inside-centre – Larkham's preferred combination.


Wallaby Sam Carter, new Argentinian halfback Tomas Cubelli, Rory Arnold and Aidan Toua have all kept their starting spots from the Waratahs game.

So too has try-scorer Allan Alaalatoa, with Scott Sio, who has been recovering from knee and elbow injuries suffered in the World Cup, on the bench.

 Larkham admits the return to the 15-a-side game will be tough for Henry Speight following an intense six-game Sydney Sevens campaign last weekend. Speight, who will start on the wing, only rejoined the team on Wednesday and has had  one day to pick up the Brumbies' new moves and patterns. 

"So it's been quite difficult," Larkham said. "He's a little bit fatigued ... his legs are still very heavy, so we'll see how he goes."

Speight expects to be OK to play at least 40 minutes on Friday to get his mind back in the game after training with the Sevens squad the past month.

"It's very important to just get that feeling back," he said, adding that he had shed a few kilos in his transition. "I'm trying to come back and adapt as quickly as I can, I don't have long."

Brumbies: Aidan Toua, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane, Tomas Cubelli, Christian Lealiifano (c), Ita Vaea, David Pocock, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore (c), Allan Alaalatoa. 

Reserves: Robbie Abel, Scott Sio, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Blake Enever, Jarrad Butler, Michael Dowsett, Nick Jooste, Andrew Smith, Tom Staniforth, Jordan Smiler, Nigel Ah Wong.