Untimely blow for Australian rugby's great hope

1 month ago 29
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Australia's Super Rugby modular bearers, the Brumbies, person been deed with an untimely treble stroke with Wallabies Rob Valetini and Noah Lolesio ruled retired of Friday night's marquee match-up with the Crusaders successful Canberra.

Valetini is 1 of the competition's signifier players but the Brumbies accidental the bruising backrower is acceptable for "a play connected the sidelines" aft suffering a hamstring wounded successful past weekend's triumph implicit the Chiefs successful Hamilton.

Youngster Tom Hooper volition commencement astatine blindside flanker successful Valetini's absence.

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Noah Lolesio of the Brumbies celebrates scoring a effort with Rob Valetini. (Getty)

Lolesio, meanwhile, is expected to miss conscionable 1 crippled with Rodney Iona filling successful astatine five-eighth against the Crusaders successful a conflict betwixt the 2nd and third-placed teams connected the ladder.

On the affirmative broadside of the ledger, the Brumbies invited backmost skipper Allan Alaalatoa to the starting broadside astatine tighthead prop.

Alaalatoa came disconnected the seat past play with Nic White the skipper.

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The Brumbies person won 3 consecutive games against New Zealand opponents and are Australia's champion changeable astatine ending a Super Rugby rubric drought dating backmost to 2014.

"It's disappointing to not person Noah and Rob disposable but we've backed our extent each play and we person afloat assurance successful Hoops and Rodney to bash a occupation for the team," Brumbies manager Dan McKellar said.

"We're each excited for what should beryllium a large contention connected Friday nighttime against a squad who person been the benchmarks successful Super Rugby for a agelong clip successful the Crusaders."

Meanwhile, Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper has been buoyed by a much competitory showing by Australian teams successful trans-Tasman matches.

"It's large to spot those teams win," Hooper said astatine the motorboat of the Wallabies jerseys for 2022.

"I've decidedly been successful the camps wherever you decease thrust teams a bit, peculiarly the Aussie counterparts, and you're not wanting to spot them spell well. I deliberation that's decidedly changed for me."

Michael Hooper and the Waratahs. (Getty)

Hooper volition miss NSW's crunch crippled against the Hurricanes connected Saturday nighttime arsenic helium continues to retrieve from a dense caput knock.

But the Waratahs volition invited backmost erstwhile Wallabies Ned Hanigan and Paddy Ryan from overseas stints via the bench.

"Going into specified a large crippled and having those 2 connected the seat gives america a small much extent and bang astatine the backmost fractional of the game, and I'm excited to spot however they go," Waratahs manager Darren Coleman said.

James O'Connor of the Reds. (Getty)

Further north, Queensland's slumping run has received a overmuch needed boost with five-eighth James O'Connor named to instrumentality from a genu wounded against the ladder-leading Blues.

"We've mislaid a mates of adjacent ones successful the past fewer weeks which has been disappointing," Reds manager Brad Thorn said.

"We'll instrumentality the learnings retired of those games successful what volition beryllium a pugnacious contention this week."

Scott Gregory of the Highlanders runs successful to people a try. (Getty)

HIGHLANDERS vs FORCE successful Dunedin, Friday 5.05pm AEST

HIGHLANDERS (15-1): Connor Garden-Bachop, Fetuli Paea, Josh Timu, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Scott Gregory, Sam Gilbert, Aaron Smith (co-c), Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Billy Harmon, James Lentjes (co-c), Josh Dickson, Bryn Evans, Jermaine Ainsley, Andrew Makalio, Ethan de Groot

Reserves: Rhys Marshall, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Mau, Fabian Holland, Hugh Renton, Folau Fakatava, Mitch Hunt, Liam Coombes-Fabling

FORCE (15-1): Jake Strachan, Byron Ralston, Kyle Godwin (c), Bayley Kuenzle, Manasa Mataele, Reesjan Pasitoa, Ian Prior, Tim Anstee, Ollie Callan, Fergus Lee-Warner, Izack Rodda, Jeremy Thrush, Santiago Medrano, Andrew Ready, Tom Robertson

Reserves: Feleti Kaitu'u, Bo Abra, Angus Wagner, Ryan McCauley, Brynard Stander, Michael McDonald, Jake McIntyre, Richard Kahui

Jahrome Brown of the Brumbies celebrates scoring a effort with teammates. (Getty)

BRUMBIES vs CRUSADERS successful Canberra, Friday 7.45pm AEST

BRUMBIES (15-1): Tom Banks, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Irae Simone, Andy Muirhead, Rodney Iona, Nic White, Pete Samu, Jahrome Brown, Tom Hooper, Caderyn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Lachlan Lonergan, James Slipper

Reserves: Folau Fainga'a, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Nick Frost, Luke Reimer, Rory Scott, Ryan Lonergan, Ollie Sapsford

CRUSADERS (15-1): Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall, Cullen Grace, Ethan Blackadder, Pablo Matera, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Fletcher Newell, Codie Taylor, George Bower

Reserves: Ricky Jackson, Finlay Brewis, Tamaiti Williams, Liam Hallam-Eames, Tom Christie, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Braydon Ennor, Leicester Fainga'anuku

Sean Maloney and Andrew Mehrtens reappraisal the latest circular of Super Rugby Pacific, the archetypal Wallaroos crippled successful astir 3 years and talk to Noah Lolesio aft his breathtaking re-signing with Australian rugby

DRUA vs MOANA PASIFIKA successful Sydney, Saturday 2.35pm AEST

DRUA (TBC)

MOANA PASIFIKA (TBC)

Blues dazzle with 'Cirque du Soleil' try

BLUES vs REDS successful Auckland, Saturday 5.05pm AEST

BLUES (TBC)

REDS (15-1): Jock Campbell, Suliasi Vunivalu, Josh Flook, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, James O'Connor, Tate McDermott (c), Seru Uru, Angus Scott-Young, Connor Vest, Angus Blyth, Ryan Smith, Feao Fotuaika, Albert Anae, Dane Zander

Reserves: Matt Faessler, Harry Hoopert, Sef Fa'agase, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Kalani Thomas, Hamish Stewart, Lawson Creighton

Ned Hanigan of the Waratahs is tackled astatine Allianz Stadium. (Getty)

WARATAHS vs HURRICANES successful Sydney, Saturday 7.45pm AEST

WARATAHS (15-1): Alex Newsome, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, Dylan Pietsch, Tane Edmed, Jake Gordon (c), Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Charlie Gamble, Will Harris, Hugh Sinclair, Jed Holloway, Archer Holz, Dave Porecki, Angus Bell

Reserves: Mahe Vailanu, Te Tera Faulkner, Paddy Ryan, Ned Hanigan, Langi Gleeson, Jack Grant, Ben Donaldson, Triston Reilly

HURRICANES (TBC)

Rebels stun Blues with superb start

REBELS vs CHIEFS successful Melbourne, Sunday 2pm AEST

REBELS (15-1): Reece Hodge, George Worth, Andrew Kellaway, Stacey Ili, Glen Vaihu, Carter Gordon, James Tuttle, Rob Leota, Brad Wilkin, Michael Wells (c), Josh Hill, Matt Philip, Pone Fa'amausili, Jordan Uelese, Matt Gibbon

Reserves: James Hanson, Cameron Orr, Cabous Eloff, Josh Canham, Richard Hardwick, Joe Powell, Nick Jooste, Lukas Ripley

CHIEFS (TBC)

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