Smiler to debut against Highlanders
April 10, 2013
Matt Toomua returns to the starting line-up for the Brumbies © Getty Images
Jordan Smiler will make his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday night.
The 27 year old joined the club in the off-season after plying his trade for Waikato in New Zealand's ITM Cup and then the international sevens' circuit.
Smiler, who will take up the blind-side flanker's role for Friday night's clash, is one of five changes to the Brumbies' starting line-up, with Matt Toomua (fly-half), Andrew Smith (outside centre) and Sam Carter (lock) also set to return.
Tevita Kuridrani and Pat McCabe move back to the bench while Scott Fardy has been ruled out with an ankle injury. Skipper Ben Mowen has been selected at No. 8, while Fotu Auelua returns to the bench. Robbie Coleman also drops from the squad, as does Zack Holmes.
"Jordan has been with us for some time now and understands all the structures and systems in place, he'll slot in nicely on Friday night," White said. "He spent a bit of time with us training during the 2012 season and he's been a great guy to have around the club. Andrew Smith has had a few weeks out and makes his return to the starting side this week. Andrew was fantastic for us in the early games this year so we will be looking for him to recapture some of that form on Friday."
The Brumbies have never played at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium, the competition's only venue with a roof, and haven't beaten the Highlanders in New Zealand since 2009.
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Andrew Smith, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane; Matt Toomua, Nic White; Ben Mowen (c), George Smith, Jordan Smiler; Sam Carter, Peter Kimlin; Dan Palmer, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Replacements: Siliva Siliva, Scott Sio, Fotu Auelua, Colby Faingaa, Ian Prior, Pat McCabe, Tevita Kuridrani