Brumbies call up prop from club rugby
June 16, 2013
Peter Kimlin will skipper the Brumbies © Getty Images
Canberra club rugby star Chris Cocca will play alongside Wallabies squad members Peter Kimlin and Scott Sio for the Brumbies against the British & Irish Lions on Tuesday night, the prop rewarded for an impressive season with Easts in Canberra's John I Dent Cup. Cocca will start from an eight-man bench with fellow debutant prop Jean-Pierre Smith, the twin brother of starting tight-head Ruan Smith.
Jake White also recalled Andrew Smith at inside centre to play his first match since straining a hamstring against the Highlanders in round nine. He comes into the side for Pat McCabe, who has been included in the Wallabies squad. Mark Swanepoel has been named on the bench, with Ian Prior to start in place of Nic White, who has a fractured scapula. The team will be skippered by Kimlin, who led the Brumbies to victory in the absence of White, against the Rebels.
"It's fantastic for Chris that he has this opportunity to face the Lions. I'm sure he is still pinching himself," Jake White said. "He's been in fantastic form for Easts and deserves this shot at the Lions. It's a bit of a new situation for us, with an eight-man bench, but JP [Jean-Pierre Smith] has been training with us for a month now and he's comfortable with the job ahead of him. I think it's a good indication that the competition in Canberra is becoming stronger, that we can take the local players and play them against a quality outfit like the Lions.
"In the backs it's comforting to be able to include a guy like Andrew Smith, who's got plenty of experience. With Tevita [Kuridrani], they form a big centre pairing and it will be interesting to see how they combine. This is a huge occasions for us as a team, but also individually. The Lions are one of rugby's last romantic sides, there is plenty of history there and we know that beating the Lions will go down in Canberra's rugby folklore for many years to come."
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Andrew Smith, Clyde Rathbone; Matt Toomua, Ian Prior; Peter Kimlin (captain), Colby Faingaa, Scott Fardy; Sam Carter, Leon Power; Scott Sio, Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith. Replacements: Josh Mann-Rea, Jean-Pierre Smith, Chris Cocca, Etienne Oosthuizen, Jordan Smiler, Mark Swanepoel, Robbie Coleman, Zack Holmes.
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