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Brumbies hope the original proves to be the best

Brumbies player Jesse Mogg in action during training at Portsea Oval, Duntroon, Canberra.

Brumbies player Jesse Mogg in action during training at Portsea Oval, Duntroon, Canberra. Photo: Melissa Adams

The ACT Brumbies' motto for the new generation is ''back to the future'' and Jake White is putting his faith in tried and tested combinations to get them back on track on Friday night.

The Brumbies will take on the Highlanders with an almost identical starting XV to the one which lifted the club to a superb start to the season.

And while the Brumbies' form has been inconsistent in the past month, returning outside centre Andrew Smith says the back line is primed to find its attacking spark.

The Brumbies have made eight positional and personnel changes to the starting side with rookie Jordan Smiler to make his Super Rugby debut at blindside flanker.

Smith, Matt Toomua and Jesse Mogg,pictured, all return from injuries to bolster the back line.

The Brumbies scored 14 tries in their first four games, but have managed to get across the line just four times in the past three games.

Smith hasn't played since the Brumbies beat the Waratahs and had to leave the South African tour early to recover from a head knock.

He has played just 15 minutes of rugby since the Waratahs game, but is confident the back-line combinations will click immediately.

''Maybe we've gone away from our basic game structure a little bit,'' Smith said of the lack of tries.

''We need to get back to that, a few guys have been out of action and maybe that played a part.''

Mogg was in scintillating form before he injured his shoulder against the Sharks last month.

Toomua was rested against the Southern Kings last weekend to get over niggling injuries and White said the duo's return was perfect timing.

''The backs are the backs we started with at the start of the year and they're the strongest combinations we feel we have,'' White said.

''You can bank on Jesse, he's done well … He's quick and he's got a big boot, I've got no doubt the confidence he brings to the team is going to be needed this week and there's an added threat from the back.''

Smiler will get his chance to impress in the forward pack.

The former Australian and New Zealand sevens player spent last weekend running around in the Canberra club competition for Easts before winning a call-up.

While the Brumbies are trying to get their campaign back on track, the Highlanders are trying to kick-start theirs after a disastrous start to the year.

They've lost all six games despite boasting All Blacks talent throughout their squad.

The lowly-ranked Kings proved last week with their draw against the Brumbies that ladder positions mean little when the game starts.

It's the Brumbies' first clash with a New Zealand opponent this season and a win would be a massive boost heading into a derby with the Reds next weekend.

''It's a different challenge to what we're used to [against the Highlanders],'' White said.

''We learnt a lesson last weekend playing against a team who is second last on the log and ended up getting a draw.

''We have to counter the game style [the Highlanders] want to play … we have to be more accurate in terms of shutting down what Kiwi backs like to do.''


Team to play the Otago Highlanders on Friday: 1. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Dan Palmer, 4. Peter Kimlin, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Jordan Smiler, 7. George Smith, 8. Ben Mowen, 9. Nic White, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Joseph Tomane, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 13. Andrew Smith, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Jesse Mogg. Reserves: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Fotu Auelua, 19. Colby Faingaa, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Pat McCabe, 22. Tevita Kuridrani.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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