Brumbies twins Rory and Richie Arnold will start a Super Rugby game together for the first time in the clash against the Waratahs. Picture: Patrick Hamilton
Brumbies twins Rory and Richie Arnold will start a Super Rugby game together for the first time in the clash against the Waratahs. Picture: Patrick Hamilton

Super Rugby: Tahs unchanged, Brumbies to start twin towers

FOR the clash with the Brumbies, NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up from the one that slaughtered the Sunwolves 77-25 last weekend.

The Waratahs have locked up top spot in the Australian conference and are looking to finish second overall in Super Rugby's curious playoff system.

"Part of our strategy is to try and keep combinations together, and it's up to those players to really earn it through their performances," Gibson said.

"As a coaching team we feel that they are doing that and deserve their spots.

"For both sides there's real incentive there on the outcome of the game.

"The Brumbies need a bonus point win to have a chance to quality and for us the real carrot of knowing if you progress in this tournament of giving yourself the opportunity through having a home semi-final potentially."

NSW hasn't daydreamed ahead to potential quarter-final opponents.

"We haven't looked beyond this game," Gibson said.

"We know there's a lot riding on this fixture and we want to perform.

"The finals series will take care of itself and we will just wait and see who we get."

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says part of the team's strategy is to try to keep combinations together in the led-up to the finals.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says part of the team's strategy is to try to keep combinations together in the led-up to the finals.

For the Brumbies, twin towers Rory and Richie Arnold will start a Super Rugby game together for the first time - with  coach Dan McKellar made two changes.

The 2.08m-tall twins are part of a supersized pack, with lock Blake Enever switching to blindside flanker in place of the concussed Tom Cusack.

Test prop Scott Sio also makes a welcome return as the Brumbies look to upset the Australian conference leaders and potentially sneak into the top eight.

Sio's return means loose-head Nic Mayhew - impressive in last week's loss to the Chiefs - drops back to the bench.

Co-captain Sam Carter remains on the injured list and Christian Lealiifano will again lead the side.

Lealiifano is off contract at the end of the season but McKellar isn't stressed about the prospect of losing the five-eighth.

"I'm quietly confident that he'll be in Canberra for at least another year," McKellar said.

"I don't want to go putting any extra pressure on him at the moment around forcing him to make a decision before what's a big game."

WARATAHS v BRUMBIES in Sydney, Saturday 7.45pm AEST

WARATAHS (15-1): Israel Folau, Cam Clark, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Bernard Foley (c), Nick Phipps, Michael Wells, Will Miller, Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Jed Holloway, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson

Reserves: Tolu Latu, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Paddy Ryan, Tom Staniforth, Brad Wilkin, Jake Gordon, Bryce Hegarty, Alex Newsome

BRUMBIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Andrew Muirhead, Christian Lealiifano (c), Joe Powell, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Blake Enever, Richie Arnold, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga'a, Scott Sio

Reserves: Connal McInerney, Nic Mayhew, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Sam Carter, Lachlan McCaffrey, Matt Lucas, Wharenui Hawera, Lausii Taliauli

Referee: Angus Gardner (AUS)

Venue: Allianz Stadium

CHIEFS v HURRICANES in Hamilton, Friday 5.35pm AEST

CHIEFS (15-1): Solomon Alaimalo, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Faauli, Shaun Stevenson, Marty McKenzie, Brad Weber, Jesse Parete, Mitch Karpik, Lachlan Boshier, Tyler Ardron, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta'avao, Liam Polwart, Sam Prattley

Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Jeff Thwaites, Michael Allardice, Liam Messam, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Tiaan Falcon, TBC

HURRICANES (15-1): Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Wes Goosen, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Sam Henwood, Brad Shields (c), Sam Lousi, Michael Fatialofa, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith

Reserves: James O'Reilly, Chris Eves, Ben May, Gareth Evans, Reed Prinsep, Finlay Christie, Ihaia West, Julian Savea

Referee: Mike Fraser (NZ). Venue: FMG Stadium

George Smith, who is set to continue his career with Bristol in England, will miss his own Super Rugby farewell party after it was decided not to risk his knee. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
George Smith, who is set to continue his career with Bristol in England, will miss his own Super Rugby farewell party after it was decided not to risk his knee. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

REDS v SUNWOLVES in Brisbane, Friday 7.45pm AEST

REDS (15-1): Jono Lance, Filipo Daugunu, Jordan Petaia, Duncan Paia'aua, Eto Nabuli, Hamish Stewart, Tate McDermott, Scott Higginbotham (c), Liam Wright, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, JP Smith

Reserves: Alex Mafi, Harry Hoopert, Ruan Smith, Angus Blyth, Angus Scott-Young, Adam Korczyk, Moses Sorovi, Teti Tela

SUNWOLVES (15-1): Jason Emery, Yoshikazu Fujita, Michael Little, Harumichi Tatekawa, Akihito Yamada, Hayden Parker, Yutaka Nagare (c), Willie Britz, Ed Quirk, Michael Leitch, Wimpie van der Walt, James Moore, Takuma Asahara, Yusuke Niwai, Craig Millar

Reserves: Jaba Bregvadze, Keita Inagaki, Hencus van Wyk, Kazuki Himeno, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Fumiaki Tanaka, Rikiya Matsuda, Ryoto Nakamura

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (NZ). Venue: Suncorp Stadium

HIGHLANDERS v REBELS in Dunedin, Saturday 3.15pm AEST

HIGHLANDERS (15-1): Josh Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Teihorangi Walden, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Kayne Hammington, Liam Squire, James Lentjes (c), Shannon Frizell, Jackson Hemopo, Alex Ainley, Tyrel Lomax, Liam Coltman, Aki Seuili

Reserves: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Kalolo Tuiloma, Tom Franklin, Dillon Hunt, Josh Renton, Matt Faddes, Josh McKay

REBELS (15-1): Jack Maddocks, Sefa Naivalu, Tom English (c), Billy Meakes, Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Michael Ruru, Amanaki Mafi, Colby Fainga'a, Angus Cottrell, Ross Haylett-Petty, Matt Philip, Sam Talakai, Anaru Rangi, Fereti Sa'aga

Reserves: Nathan Charles, Tetera Faulkner, Jermaine Ainsley, Sam Jeffries, Richard Hardwick, Harrison Goddard, Jack Debreczeni, Lopeti Timani

Referee: Glen Jackson (NZ). Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium

CRUSADERS v BLUES in Christchurch, Saturday 5.35pm AEST

CRUSADERS (15-1): Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Mitchell Drummond, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (c), Quinten Strange, Michael Alaalatoa, Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry

Reserves: Sam Anderson-Heather, Wyatt Crockett, Donald Brighouse, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Mitchell Hunt, Manasa Mataele

BLUES (15-1): Matt Duffie, Melani Nanai, Michael Collins, Rieko Ioane, Caleb Clarke, Stephen Perofeta, Augustine Pulu (c), Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson, Jerome Kaino, Ben Nee-Nee, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Ofa Tuungafasi, Matt Moulds, Alex Hodgman

Reserves: Ross Wright, Pauliasi Manu, Sione Mafileo, Jacob Pierce, Murphy Taramai, Sam Nock, Bryn Gatland, Tamati Tua

Referee: Federico Anselmi (ARG). Venue: AMI Stadium

Jamba Ulenga of the Bulls in action at Loftus Versfeld. Picture: Johan Rynners/Gallo
Jamba Ulenga of the Bulls in action at Loftus Versfeld. Picture: Johan Rynners/Gallo

LIONS v BULLS in Johannesburg, Saturday 11.05pm AEST

LIONS (15-1): Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Warren Whiteley (c), Cyle Brink, Kwagga Smith, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen

Reserves: Corne Fourie, Johannes Jonker, Jacobie Adriaanse, Lourens Erasmus, Marnus Schoeman/Hacjivah Dayimani, Ross Cronje, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Howard Mnisi/Shaun Reynolds

BULLS (15-1): Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Jesse Kriel, Johnny Kotze, Jamba Ulengo, Manie Libbok, Ivan van Zyl, Hanro Liebenberg, Thembelani Bholi, Marco van Staden, RG Snyman (c), Jannes Kirsten, Conraad van Vuuren, Jaco Visagie, Pierre Schoeman

Reserves: Johan Grobbelaar, Matthys Basson, Mornay Smit, Ruan Nortje, Nick de Jager, Embrose Papier, Boeta Hamman, Divan Rossouw

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (SA). Venue: Ellis Park

SHARKS v JAGUARES in Durban, Sunday 1.15am AEST

SHARKS (15-1): Curwin Bosch, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Robert du Preez, Louis Schreuder, Daniel du Preez, Jacques Vermeulen, Philip van der Walt, Ruan Botha (c), Tyler Paul, Thomas du Toit, Akker van der Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira

Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, Hyron Andrews, Wian Vosloo, Cameron Wright, Marius Louw, Makazole Mapimpi

JAGUARES (15-1): Ramiro Moyano, Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni, Bautista Ezcurra, Sebastian Cancelliere, Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, Martin Landajo, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera (c), Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Santiago Medrano, Julian Montoya, Javier Diaz

Reserves: Agustin Creevy, Santiago Garcia Botta, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Guido Petti, Javier Ortega Desio, Gonzalo Bertranou, Nicolas Sanchez, Emiliano Boffelli

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (SA). Venue: Kings Park

BYE: STORMERS

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