JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano to start against Chiefs as Sam Carter makes comeback

Brumbies player Christian Lealiifano will return this weekend.

Brumbies player Christian Lealiifano will return this weekend. Photo: Melissa Adams

The ACT Brumbies will inject Wallabies centre Christian Lealiifano into the starting side for the first time this year as they attempt to erase some of the pain of their Super Rugby grand final defeat.

Lealiifano is set to reclaim the No.12 jersey, forcing hard-nosed centre Pat McCabe to the bench for the Anzac Day grand final rematch against the Waikato Chiefs at Canberra Stadium.

Lock Sam Carter will make his comeback from a knee injury and veteran flanker Tom McVerry is set to earn his first Brumbies cap from the bench.

The Brumbies are locked in negotiations with several high-profile stars, including Lealiifano, as they attempt to keep their squad together to chase Super Rugby championships.

It is understood the club is on the verge of bolstering its playing stocks for next year with rising star Nigel Ah Wong in contention to join the Brumbies for the 2015 campaign.

Ah Wong, 23, was part of the Queensland Reds' extended player squad last year and also played in Japan.

The Brumbies' main focus is securing their talented roster and keeping Wallabies representatives out of the clutches of cashed-up European teams.

Ah Wong is expected to arrive in Canberra in the coming weeks to start training with the Tuggeranong Vikings in a bid to impress Brumbies coaches.

Lealiifano had ankle surgery at the end of the Wallabies spring tour last year and has been linked to a move to France, while the Melbourne Rebels are also keen to recruit the star playmaker.

The Brumbies are juggling back-line depth, with McCabe being forced into an impact role from the bench despite his outstanding form at inside centre.

The selection dilemma is a headache for coach Stephen Larkham. But after being over-run by the Chiefs in the final last year, Larkham says the Brumbies are better placed to challenge the two-time defending champions.

"I think Super Rugby is the strongest it's ever been ... I think we're in a slightly better position than we were last year," Larkham said. "I think the Chiefs are still the pinnacle in Super Rugby in terms of finishing a game off well and that's what we're striving to get better at."

Lock Carter is making his comeback from knee ligament damage, replacing rookie Tom Staniforth.

Carter feared his season was over when he injured his knee against the Auckland Blues earlier this month.

The 24-year-old has not beaten the Chiefs in his three-year Super Rugby career and admitted it was still hard to swallow the grand final loss after the Brumbies led the game for 65 minutes.

"The Chiefs are the benchmark in Super Rugby ... we need to get amongst it and get in their faces," Carter said. "The Chiefs can come back from anywhere ... any time you lose a grand final is pretty devastating, especially when you're winning with 15 minutes to go."

Meanwhile, Tuggeranong and Queanbeyan will start John I Dent Cup action at Viking Park on Thursday night. Ah Wong is expected to join the Vikings in the coming weeks and join Canberra's National Rugby Championship campaign.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers