Colby Faingaa preferred to George Smith
July 11, 2013
Colby Faingaa has been rewarded for his efforts © Getty Images
George Smith will start on the Brumbies bench for the Super Rugby round 20 match against the Western Force at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday, coach Jake White preferring to reward Colby Faingaa for his outstanding form while the Wallabies veteran was out with a knee injury.
Faingaa was outstanding in the recent bonus-point win over Melbourne Rebels and also the Brumbies' underdog win against the British & Irish Lions.
"Not only that, but I think we're going to need George going into the big [finals series] games," said White, who named his other six returning Wallabies in the starting XV. "We're going to need his experience, I'm going to need him to be 100%."
White said Smith most definitely had not been benched because of the heavy clash of heads he suffered early in the final Test against the Lions in Sydney last Saturday, saying the 111-Test veteran would certainly play at some point.
"He will get on," White said. "I've got to make sure everyone is on the same page. He's not on the bench because of what happened last Saturday; he's on the bench because it's the best call for our team going forward. Our doctor was actually the [Test] match doctor as well. He's a very conservative doctor and he would never have been gung ho about a decision like that [letting Smith back onto the field against the Lions]. And secondly I have no doubt that George himself wouldn't have gone back out onto the field if he didn't feel he was 100 % right. He's been all fine."
Nic White will miss the Super Rugby match with the Force as a precaution after the shoulder injury he sustained against the Rebels in round 17. "He's probably 75% ready to go," White said of the scrum-half, whom he has replaced with Ian Prior. "If it was a one-off game, I would probably risk it.But we've got a couple more weeks of rugby and I've got to make sure he's ready next week."
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane; Matt Toomua, Ian Prior; Ben Mowen (captain), Colby Faingaa, Peter Kimlin; Sam Carter, Scott Fardy; Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Replacements: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, Fotu Auelua, George Smith, Robbie Coleman, Andrew Smith, Mark Swanepoel.
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