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Super Rugby semi-final: Brumbies will be 'poking wrong bear' if they target Israel Folau, says Nic White

Israel Folau is unflappable, says Nic White.

Israel Folau is unflappable, says Nic White. Photo: Getty Images

Test halfback Nic White says the ACT Brumbies will be "poking the wrong bear" if they attempt to unsettle superstar Israel Folau in their semi-final blockbuster against the NSW Waratahs.

The Brumbies have named an unchanged line-up for the biggest Australian Super Rugby derby match in more than a decade, with the team's playing for a berth in the grand final.

Folau, Super Rugby's top try-scorer, looms as the game-breaker in the star-laden Waratahs side and said this week the Brumbies targeted him by sledging in a match last month.

But White, who isn't shy on the field, said he was unaware of any words in that match as the Waratahs romped to a 39-8 win.

"I don't know [what happened], we've got a few quiet islanders out there but if they did, they poked the wrong bear," he said.

"He's a long way away from me [on the field], I've got my head in with the forwards. It didn't work last time so I don't think they'll do it again.

"It doesn't matter what you throw at Izzy, he's going to make it work. You kick deep he makes it work ... there's no one technique that works against him. He's a genuine freak, the type of player who changes games. You've got to be on your game and hope he's off his."

The Brumbies-Waratahs final is the first time two Australian teams have met in a playoff match since 2002.

The game boasts 22 members of the Wallabies squad, which coach Ewen McKenzie named on Wednesday, and a host of superstars.

Folau has scored three tries in four games against the Brumbies since making the switch to rugby union last year. He is also at the top of the Super Rugby try-scoring tally with 12 this season.

But the Brumbies have their own X-factor in Fijian flyer Henry Speight, whose 12 tackle breaks last weekend was the equal-highest in Super Rugby since 2006.

"These are the games you want to play in, the games you work hard for in pre-season and work hard for each other ... to give yourself a chance of playing in these big games," White said.

"There are a lot of teams watching the semis this weekend wishing they were out there, so I guess we've earned the right to play in these games.''

The Waratahs smashed the Brumbies when the teams last met on June 28, with NSW powering over an injury hit Brumbies line-up and storming to the minor premiership.

But the Brumbies have six players back in action who missed that game, including Wallabies Matt Toomua, Joseph Tomane, Pat McCabe, Sam Carter and hooker Josh Mann-Rea.

"We're really focused on making sure the detail and performance is there for this game," said Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.

"This group of guys is certainly comfortable with finals football. I think the guys stand up to the pressure quite well.

"We're lucky to get guys back from injury and be as close to full strength as possible."

Brumbies prop Ben Alexander was recalled to the Wallabies squad this week after missing the three-Test series against France with a neck injury.

"The boys are really excited for the game to come around ... it will be the biggest derby I've been involved in and I think most guys would say the same," Alexander said.

"I'd like to think it's a sign that Australian rugby's heading in the right direction.''

SUPER RUGBY SEMI-FINAL

Saturday: NSW Waratahs v ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium, 7.40pm.

Brumbies team: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Leon Power, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Jarrad Butler, 8. Ben Mowen, 9. Nic White, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Robbie Coleman, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Jesse Mogg. Reserves: 16. Ruaidhri Murphy, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Fotu Auelua, 20. Tom McVerry, 21. Michael Dowsett, 22. Pat McCabe, 23. Joseph Tomane.

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
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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