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Brumbies enter semi-final showdown without good luck charm

By Online Editors
Brumbies back-rower Pete Samu. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy / Getty Images)

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The Brumbies have made one predictable change for their Super Rugby semi-final against the Jaguares, promoting Lachlan McCaffrey to No.8 in place of the injured Pete Samu.

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Heading into Saturday’s match, Samu and prop James Slipper are the only two forwards to have turned out in every match for the Brumbies in 2019. In fact, only 12 players in the whole competition have mustered up 17 appearances this year.

Samu was one of the Brumbies’ top performers in the quarter-final win over the Sharks, scoring two tries in the first half before he left the field with the strained hamstring which will almost mark the end of his Super Rugby season – even if the Brumbies beat the odds and secure victory over the Jaguares this weekend.

McCaffrey has been a regular fill-in player for coach Dan McKellar’s side this year, clocking up the 15th most minutes in the team, but doesn’t offer quite as much dynamism as the New Zealand-born Samu.

McKellar has otherwise stayed with the starting team who demolished the Sharks in the quarter-finals for the match in Buenos Aires on Saturday morning.

Lock Murray Douglas takes McCaffrey’s spot on the bench.

Captain Christian Lealiiano will make his 150th appearance for the Brumbies in what could be his final game before leaving for Japan.

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The Brumbies come into the game on a seven-match winning run, although their Argentine opponents can boast 10 wins from their last 11.

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Toni Pulu, Christian Lealiifano (c), Joe Powell, Lachlan McCaffrey, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio. Reserves: Connal McInerney, James Slipper, Les Makin, Darcy Swain, Murray Douglas, Jahrome Brown, Matt Lucas, Tom Wright.

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