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Christian Lealiifano and Tevita Kuridrani key to Brumbies attack, says Henry Speight

Henry Speight was outstanding against the Force.

Henry Speight was outstanding against the Force. Photo: Getty Images

Flying Fijian Henry Speight hopes the ACT Brumbies' back line can deliver more fireworks at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night, and has heaped praise on hard-working centres Christian Lealiifano and Tevita Kuridrani for unlocking the team's attacking genius.

The Brumbies broke the try-scoring shackles with a superb performance against the Western Force last weekend, scoring seven tries to secure their place in the Super Rugby play-offs. But former Waikato provincial player Speight has warned the Brumbies to expect the Chiefs to unleash their own weapons when they clash in a grand-final rematch in the first week of the finals.

Speight was outstanding against the Force and is pressing his claims for an immediate Wallabies call-up when he becomes eligible to play for Australia in September.

However, Speight said Lealiifano and Kuridrani were the keys to the Brumbies' attacking success, despite the centre pair failing to score last weekend.

"The attack has taken a turn for the best, especially last weekend, and it couldn't have come at a better time," Speight said. "Nic White is having the best season he's had, Matt Toomua's played out of his skin. But what doesn't get mentioned or noticed is the work Christian and Tevita do.

"They're the big reason why Matt Toomua can play his own game and free Nic White up is because they lay the foundation and the confidence comes from there. It's really exciting times."

The Brumbies will make minimal changes to their line-up for the clash against the Chiefs when coaches Stephen Larkham and Laurie FIsher name their team on Thursday.

Clyde Rathbone has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, but is expected to be fit if the Brumbies' progress to the next stage of the finals.

Robbie Coleman looms as the one to replace Rathbone in the starting side, while Wallabies speedster Joseph Tomane stays on the bench for some second-half impact.

Prop Jean-Pierre Smith has been ruled out with a knee injury, opening the door for Allan Alaalatoa to make his Super Rugby debut from the bench.

Larkham is waiting to see how Coleman pulls up from training before finalising the back line.

But he singled out Lealiifano and Kuridrani for their "tireless work running through brick walls" as the Brumbies chase their championship aspirations.

"We need to put the one percenters together so guys like Henry, [Jesse Mogg] and the back line get space, and that's because Christian and Tevita punch holes in brick walls," Larkham said. "I think the whole team clicked in attack, but maybe throughout the year we haven't had the recognition if we're not scoring tries."

Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam said the defending champions "got a bit of a hiding, got a bit embarrassed" when the Brumbies beat them 41-23 on Anzac Day. But the Chiefs were missing co-skipper Aaron Cruden, halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and openside flanker Tanerau Latimer.

‘‘We’ve gone through a lot of hard times as a team,’’ he said. ‘‘But I’m really confident that those hard times have made us stronger as a unit and as a family."

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is hopeful hooker Mahonri Schwalger, who is carrying a shoulder injury, will be available.

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Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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