Rugby Union

Lealiifano at No.12 for Brumbies v Chiefs

Wallabies centre Christian Lealiifano has been named to start in the Brumbies number 12 jersey for Friday's Super Rugby grand final rematch against the Chiefs.

Lealiifano will start at inside centre for the first time this season at the expense of the in-form Pat McCabe, who's dropped to the bench.

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It's a long-awaited return for Lealiifano, who missed the first month of the season due to ankle surgery following last year's Wallabies duties.

The only other change to the starting side is the return of workhorse lock Sam Carter who has missed two matches with a knee injury.

Brumbies player Christian Lealiifano.
Brumbies player Christian Lealiifano.  Photo: Melissa Adams

On the bench, fresh recruit Tom McVerry will get his first gig in a Brumbies jersey after being called into the squad following the season-ending injury to back-rower David Pocock, while Tom Staniforth drops out of the match-day 23.

Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Robbie Coleman, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (capt), Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Res: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, JP Smith, Jack Whetton, Tom McVerry, Michael Dowsett, Andrew Smith, Pat McCabe.