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Brumbies vs Rebels (Friday – 16h40 – Canberra Stadium)
Only two Super Rugby matches are scheduled for this coming weekend which coincides with the three-week window for international tours and commitments and only Australian teams feature. No South African or New Zealand teams are playing Super Rugby this weekend.
The first match is between an under-strength Brumbies team and an injury-ridden Rebels team. Both teams will have to compete sans their Wallabies, who are all in camp for the Australian test series against the 2013 British and Irish Lions.
The Brumbies will get the chance to return to the top of the Super Rugby standings, should they be victorious. Although they will be missing five Wallabies, the Brumbies can leapfrog the tournament leaders, the Chiefs, if they win and this should be ample motivation when they confront the Rebels.
In the absence of captain Ben Mowen, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Christian Lealiifano and Joe Tomane, Brumbies coach, Jake White, was forced to make changes and young scrum-half Nic White will become the youngest captain (22) in the Brumbies’ history when he leads the Canberra-based team on the field on Friday.’
The Brumbies will be anxious to make this one count as it is their last home match of the regular season before next month’s play-offs.
The Rebels, who have been hard hit by injuries to Scott Higginbotham, Hugh Pyle and Jarrod Saffy ruled out,are also without the services of Wallabies James O’Connor and Nick Phipps. Welshman Gareth Delve returns to the team and will also regain the captaincy. ” With 10 changes this week, we are looking forward to testing our squad depth against a strong Brumbies outfit,” Rebels coach Damien Hill said.
Force vs Waratahs (Sunday – 13h05 – NIB Stadium Perth)
After a 69-17 hammering on Wednesday, courtesy of the touring Lions’, the Western Force will be strengthened by the return of the players who sat out during the tour match. Even though they are hogging the last place in the Australian conference, recouping some pride will ensure that the Perth-based team will a force to be reckoned with.