Valetini back for Brimbies' semi-final clash against Blues

Valetini back for Brimbies' semi-final clash against Blues

Rob Valetini has been named in the Brumbies starting lineup for this Saturday’s Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific Semi-Final against the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland. 

The bruising ball-carrier will wear the eight jersey on his return from injury, with Pete Samu switching to openside flanker and the impressive Tom Hooper retaining his place at blindside flanker. 


Further up-front, James Slipper starts at looshead prop beside Folau Fainga’a at hooker and captain Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead. 

Darcy Swain and Cadeyrn Neville continue their partnership in the second row. 

Nic White and Noah Lolesio combine in the halves, with Ollie Sapsford coming into start in the centres alongside Irae Simone. 


The unchanged back-three of Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright and Tom Banks completes the Brumbies starting side. 

Lachlan Lonergan continues as the finishing hooker with Scott Sio and Sefo Kautai the prop impact, Sio set to become the Brumbies third-most capped player ahead of George Smith. 


Nick Frost will bring plenty of spark at lock with both Luke Reimer and Jahrome Brown available to bring impact to the backrow. 

Ryan Lonergan will have an important role to play as the finishing halfback, with Hudson Creighton completing the Brumbies Semi-Final squad.

Brumbies head coach, Dan McKellar said: “We’re excited for this week and what will be an amazing occasion at Eden Park.”

“It’s great to have Bobby back this week and although we’re gutted to lose Len, we’ve got full confidence in Ollie to do a job for the team in his place.

“We’re going over the Auckland with plenty of belief ahead of a huge challenge against a quality team who we have a list of respect for.”


BRUMBIES TEAM FOR SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC SEMI-FINAL

1. James Slipper
2. Folau Fainga'a
3. Allan Alaalatoa (C)
4. Darcy Swain
5. Cadeyrn Neville
6. Tom Hooper
7. Pete Samu
8. Rob Valetini
9. Nic White 
10. Noah Lolesio
11. Andy Muirhead
12. Irae Simone
13. Ollie Sapsford
14. Tom Wright
15. Tom Banks
 
REPLACEMENTS
 
16. Lachlan Lonergan
17. Scott Sio
18. Sefo Kautai
19. Nick Frost
20. Luke Reimer
21. Jahrome Brown
22. Ryan Lonergan
23. Hudson Creighton

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