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Brumbies' X-factor ruled out of quarter-final as team named

Corey Toole of the Brumbies watches on during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium, on February 24, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The setbacks keep coming for the ACT Brumbies ahead of their blockbuster Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final against the Hurricanes with star winger Corey Toole ruled out through injury.


Their biggest X-factor talent joins injured captain Allan Alaalatoa on the sidelines, while gun five-eighth Noah Lolesio will come off the bench on Saturday night at GIO Stadium in Canberra as he returns from concussion symptoms suffered a fortnight back.

It’s not the news the Brumbies needed as they try and keep their season alive, tasked with beating a Hurricanes side that boasts a win against them this campaign, albeit in New Zealand.

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Ollie Sapsford shifts from the centres to cover Toole’s wing, while Jack Debreczeni continues in the halves as Lolesio starts from the bench.

Toole tweaked a calf in their win against Melbourne on the weekend after scoring an impressive try early in the piece.

It leaves them with some serious bench punch, Lolesio set to close the game with Wallabies halfback hopeful Ryan Lonergan who’ll come on for starter Nic White.

There’s some positive news though, with hooker Lachie Lonergan and prop James Slipper both back to greatly strengthen their front row.


Coach Stephen Larkham admitted losing Toole was a blow, but backed in former New Zealand league talent Sapsford to put in a shift.

“It’s disappointing for ‘Tooley’ to miss out, but he was just not right to go and Ollie has played a lot of rugby on the wing for Hawke’s Bay so we know he’ll do a job for us,” he said.

“This is the time of year everyone plays for and we’re in a good place heading into a massive challenge against the Hurricanes.”

Toole has played himself into Wallabies calculations with a stunning debut campaign, bagging nine tries in 13 games.


Brumbies: James Slipper, Lachlan Lonergan, Sefo Kautai, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White, Jack Debreczeni, Ollie Sapsford, Tamati Tua, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright. Reserves: Connal McInerney, Blake Schoupp, Rhys Van Nek, Tom Hooper, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Jesse Mogg.


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