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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 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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