Recap: Brumbies vs Highlanders LIVE | Super Rugby
Follow all the action on the RugbyPass live blog from the Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and Highlanders at GIO Stadium.
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The high-flying hosts will head into this clash will an abundance of confidence as they remain the only undefeated Australian side in the competition following impressive victories over the Reds and Rebels.
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This week, Dan McKellar’s men stay in Canberra to face the struggling Highlanders, who looked very rusty in their 42-20 thumping at the hands of the Sharks in their season-opener at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin last week.
As such, the Brumbies are favourites for this clash, which is understandable given they will field a largely unchanged side from what they conjured throughout the first two rounds of the competition.
However, McKellar has found enough room to inject three new players into the fray in the form of loosehead prop James Slipper, lock Darcy Swain and openside flanker Will Miller.
Your Plus500 Brumbies side to take on the @Highlanders this Saturday!
— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) February 13, 2020
That trio have replaced Wallabies front rower Scott Sio and second rower Caderyn Neville, who have both been demoted to the bench, while tearaway flanker Tom Cusack has been dropped from the starting team completely.
Prop Thomas Ross, loose forward Lachlan McCaffrey and midfielder Len Ikitau are the other fresh faces on the Brumbies’ bench.
Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger, meanwhile, has mirrored his opposite and sprung a total of three changes to his run-on side.
Your Landers side to take on @BrumbiesRugby in Canberra on Saturday Night! Kick off 9.15 NZT
— Pulse Energy Highlanders (@Highlanders) February 12, 2020
An ankle injury has ruled promising lock Pari Pari Parkinson out of this fixture, allowing ex-Chiefs second rower Jesse Parete to make his first starting appearance for the Highlanders.
One-cap All Blacks flanker Dillon Hunt is also gone from the starting side, with his place at No. 6 taken by World Cup returnee Shannon Frizell, while rookie wing Tima Fainga’anuku has paid the price for an unconvincing debut, and replaced on the right wing by utility back Sio Tomkinson.
A further three changes have been made on the bench, with Hunt joined by ex-Brumbies lock Jack Whetton and former Connacht and Ireland U20 prop Conan O’Donnell, who is in line to make his Highlanders debut.
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