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Brumby Allan Alaalatoa to end more than 260 day wait against Hurricanes

By Finn Morton
Allan Alaalatoa of the Wallabies comes off the ground with an injury during the The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the Australia Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa will make his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday afternoon after being named to start for the Brumbies against the table-topping Hurricanes.

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Alaalatoa, who missed the Rugby World Cup after suffering the injury during the first Bledisloe Cup test in Melbourne, will return to competitive rugby for the first time in more than 260 days.

The world-class tighthead prop will pack down alongside James Slipper and hooker Billy Pollard in an impressive front row, while Darcy Swain and Cadeyrn Neville round out the tight five.

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Rory Scott has been named at openside flanker for the first time this season and joins Wallaby Rob Valetini and rising star Charlie Cale in the loose forwards.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
4
Draws
0
Wins
1
Average Points scored
34
27
First try wins
20%
Home team wins
100%

Captain Ryan Lonergan is back at halfback for the second week in a row and will combine with Noah Lolesio in the halves. Lolesio has played in every match this season.

Len Ikitau returns from an injury layoff to start at outside centre, with the Wallaby set to link up with Tamati Tua in the midfield.

Speedster Corey Toole will take his place on the left wing once again, New Zealand-born Ollie Sapsford on the right, and Wallaby Tom Wright lines up out the back.

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Coach Stephen Larkham has gone with a 5-3 split on the bench.

The Hurricanes are undefeated this season but their last loss in a competitive fixture was against the Brumbies in Canberra (last year’s quarter-finals).

As for the Brumbies, they’ll be looking to put the disappointment of last year’s thrashing by the Blues behind them when they take the field in front of their home fans.

This ANZAC Round fixture at Canberra’s GIO Stadium will kick-off at 2:35 pm AEST on Saturday afternoon.

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Brumbies team to take on Hurricanes

  1. James Slipper
  2. Billy Pollard
  3. Allan Alaalatoa
  4. Darcy Swain
  5. Cadeyrn Neville
  6. Rob Valetini
  7. Rory Scott
  8. Charlie Cale
  9. Ryan Lonergan
  10. Noah Lolesio
  11. Corey Toole
  12. Tamati Tua
  13. Len Ikitau
  14. Ollie Sapsford
  15. Tom Wright

Replacements

  1. Connal McInerney
  2. Blake Schoupp
  3. Sosefo Kautai
  4. Tom Hooper
  5. Jahrome Brown
  6. Harrison Goddard
  7. Jack Debreczeni
  8. Andy Muirhead
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J
Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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