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Brumbies turn to former Chiefs and Waikato rep after one week with the side to fix up front row after prop shortage

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Brumbies veteran James Slipper will shift from his usual loosehead role to tighthead with the Super Rugby AU side desperately short on props ahead of Friday night’s clash with Western Force.

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Slipper, who is returning from a knee injury for the GIO Stadium match, will be joined up front by former Force prop Harry Lloyd for his first start this season, with Test star Allan Alaalatoa still suspended and Tom Ross injured.

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has also rushed Waikato’s Sosefo Kautai onto the bench after only joining the team this week.

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Brumbies coach Dan McKellar

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Brumbies coach Dan McKellar

“James has got up for this game and he will play tighthead and he’s got a lot of experience there so he will do a good job for us,” McKellar said on Wednesday.

“Big Sefa (Sosefa) Kautai has been involved in the Chiefs and Waikato program the last few years and has turned up in really good shape and has impressed us so we will see how he goes.”

Coming off a tight loss to the competition-leading Reds followed by the bye, Jahrome Brown is the new No.7 with Tom Cusack ruled out with a shoulder injury and halfback Nick White taking over the captaincy from Alaalatoa.

The Force have made two changes with veterans Rob Kearney and Richard Kahui out through injury, with Jack McGregor and Marcel Brache the new faces.

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McGregor will start at fullback with Brache on the wing.

The winless Waratahs have made sweeping changes as they look to breathe some life into their ailing season against Queensland at Stadium Australia on Saturday night.

NSW coach Rob Penney has made seven changes to his starting team, welcoming back inside centre Izaia Perese from suspension to partner Lalakai Foketi.

Lock Sam Wykes has been promoted to the starting side while there have been two forced changes to the backrow with Wallabies Jack Dempsey and Lachlan Swinton both ruled out with foot injuries.

Carlo Tizzano starts at openside flanker, while Hugh Sinclair moves to blindside flanker and Will Harris makes his return from injury at No.8.

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The Reds have also rung four changes with Ryan Smith making his starting debut at lock, with Seru Uru at No. 8.

Test players Filipo Daugunu returns to the left wing, while hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa is back in the starting side.

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M
Mzilikazi 2 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

An hugely interesting article. Thanks, Nick. Some seem to find this a poor 6 N, but I think it has thrown up a number of fascinating contests. Ofc the falling away of France is always going to be a major point of discussion. The loss of both half backs has hurt them for sure. But they should still be better. Both France and England could easily have been sitting with three defeats right now, especially France. In England’s case, I thought the try Mitchell scored against the Italians was lucky, as he was clearly held in the tackle , but carried on to the line without releasing and regaining the ball. The English blitz defence being talked about so much is still a work in progress, and Ireland, with their powerful men in both backs and forwards can do damage there. I also thought in last weekends game against Scotland, England were pushingtheir luck at the breakdowns, turning them into a chaotic brawl. A different referee may not see it their way so much against Ireland and France. Ireland’s front row does concern me. The starters have not always looked in control, and Andrew Porter is a worry, as he will now be very closely watched in these next two games. Tadgh Furlong is not the player he was at the set piece, and will need to be on his mettle against the very streetwise Genge at Twickenham. I really enjoyed the stats heavy approach in this article. So much that passes one by are brought starkly into the light of day. Finn Russell’s deadly accuracy, the significance of the Welsh backrow duo, Italy’s attacking drop of under a new coach, as they are coming much closer to winning in these games this year.

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