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Brumbies missing seven Wallabies for trip to Christchurch

The Brumbies have claimed early season bragging rights against fierce Australian rivals the NSW Waratahs, having beaten them 25-31 at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.

The Brumbies will attack their biggest test of the Super Rugby Pacific season short-handed, missing seven Wallabies for the trip to Christchurch to face the Crusaders.


They’re not the only Australian side that’s made big changes, NSW Waratahs coach Darren Coleman forced into a major injury reshuffle with star youngster Max Jorensen and flanker Charlie Gamble among those missing.

The national team’s World Cup resting policy has hit the Brumbies hard, with star back-rower Rob Valetini, fullback Tom Wright and halfback Nic White along with James Slipper and Peter Samu unavailable.

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Fellow Wallabies Len Ikitau and Darcy Swain are out through injury, leaving plenty of inexperienced faces looking to end the Brumbies’ 11-game losing streak against the Crusaders.

They do get back Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa after he’s missed the Brumbies’ last two outings after a concussion he suffered against the Blues in Super Round.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said the forced rotation was a chance for the club’s emerging depth to once again show they’re up to the task.

“We’ve had to rotate in a few areas, but we’ve backed our depth and our connection as a squad from the start and every player who gets on the plane knows the responsibility that comes with the jersey,” he said.


“We’ve laid a good foundation for the season in the first couple of weeks and we’re excited to get back to New Zealand as a group and take on this challenge against a side we have a lot of respect for.”


Five-eighth Noah Lolesio is joined in the halves by fellow Wallabies candidate Ryan Lonergan, the first time they’ve been used as a starting duo this season.

Wright’s absence sees winger Andy Muirhead shift to fullback after his double last weekend against Moana Pasifika.

For the Waratahs, Jorgensen (shoulder), Gamble (shoulder), back-rower Langi Gleeson (calf), centre Lalakai Foketi (shoulder) and five-eighth Tane Edmed (back) all drop out with injuries.


They join a casualty ward that already includes Angus Bell and Mosese Tuipulotu.

But they’ve got some troops back, with prop Te Tera Faulkner and winger Dylan Pietsch overcoming calf and quad complaints respectively to rejoin the starting 15.

Coleman acknowledged the side’s performances have been down and hoped their depth could give them a much-needed spark.

“Coming off a disappointing loss in Wellington, we’ve sustained a significant number of injuries, but the beauty of our squad this year is our depth and we’re still able to name a very strong 15,” he said.

“The team has been disappointed in its performances over the past two weeks and can’t wait to get back to our house and put in a performance that our fans will be proud of.”


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