Nic White captains the Brumbies, James Slipper returns

Nic White captains the Brumbies, James Slipper returns

James Slipper is set to return to the Brumbies starting team at tighthead prop, with Nic White named to lead the side against the Western Force this Friday night at GIO Stadium.


White has skippered the side twice previously, becoming the youngest ever Brumbies captain when he led the team out against the Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium in 2013 at just 22 years of age.  
 


Slipper meanwhile will be tasked with swapping sides at scrum time to anchor the Brumbies set piece from tighthead.



Joining the Wallabies prop in the starting front-row for the first time is Brumbies pathways loosehead prop Harry Lloyd, with test hooker Folau Fainga’a retaining his place in the number two jersey.
 

Darcy Swain and Cadeyrn Neville will form the second row pairing with the tall timbers having started all five of the Brumbies games this season to date. 
 


Rob Valetini and Pete Samu start at blindside flanker and number eight respectively, the latter having scored a double last time out against the Queensland Reds.

Jahrome Brown is the only change to the Brumbies backrow, with Tom Cusack ruled out through injury.
 
In the backs, White continues his partnership with Noah Lolesio in the halves. The duo combined brilliantly for the opening try in the Brumbies round one fixture against the Force in Perth. 
 
An unchanged remaining backline sees Irae Simone and Len Ikitau continue their growing combination in the centres. 
 
The Brumbies back three of Mack Hansen, Andy Muirhead and Tom Banks completes the run on side.
 
In the finishers, there are a number of potential Brumbies debutants including newly arrived tighthead Sefo Kautai who is named in the Plus500 Brumbies matchday selection. 
 
Providing impact on the other side of the scrum will be Brumbies pathways prop Fred Kaihea who has been promoted to the senior squad as injury cover.

The 21-year-old loosehead trained with the squad through preseason and has produced a number of eye-catching displays for the Brumbies Runners and with the Queanbeyan Whites in the John I Dent Cup. 
 
Hooker Lachlan Lonergan completes the front-row finishers, the ACT product one of 12 Brumbies pathways graduates in the matchday selection. 

Lock James Tucker returns to the Brumbies playing 23, with Canberra local Rory Scott set to make his first appearance for the club as the backrow finisher. The 20-year-old Marist College and Brumbies Pathways product has impressed at club level for the Canberra Royals and with the Brumbies Runners in recent years.
 
Vice-captain Ryan Lonergan will be the Brumbies finishing halfback, with teenage playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa and the electric Issak Fines-Leleiwasa completing the Brumbies selection.

Plus500 Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: "James (Slipper) is a senior player who prides himself on his detail and wanted to know as soon as possible if he'd be playing at tighthead. He's more than comfortable in that position and happy to do what's best for the team. We're really looking forward to having Slips back out there on Friday night because he was very good for us at the start of the year."

"Rory's another good story of an Academy player being promoted and it shows that there's that a genuine pathway to play Super Rugby here in our region, he's been very good for his club Royals over the past couple of years and he's stood up in trial games and he's ready to go.  It will be a proud moment for Marist, Royals and his family.

"Sefo's been good since arriving, scrummages well and has good experience at this level, he hasn't played since November but he's shown up in really good shape."

BRUMBIES ROUND SIX TEAM
1. Harry Lloyd
2. Folau Fainga'a
3. James Slipper
4. Darcy Swain
5. Cadeyrn Neville
6. Rob Valetini
7. Jahrome Brown
8. Pete Samu
9. Nic White (c)
10. Noah Lolesio
11. Mack Hansen
12. Irae Simone
13. Len Ikitau
14. Andy Muirhead
15. Tom Banks

REPLACEMENTS
16. Lachlan Lonergan
17. Fred Kaihea*
18. Sefo Kautai**
19. James Tucker
20. Rory Scott*
21. Ryan Lonergan
22. Reesjan Pasitoa
23. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa

*denotes potential Super Rugby debut
**denotes potential Plus500 Brumbies debut

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