Rugby-Brumbies left with makeshift front row for crunch Rebels clash

  • Rugby
  • Wednesday, 31 May 2023

FILE PHOTO: Australia's Allan Alaalatoa during the press conference in Sapporo, Japan, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The ACT Brumbies' hopes of securing a home quarter-final in Super Rugby Pacific have dimmed due to the absence of three Wallabies from the line-up for the final regular season clash against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

Captain Allan Alaalatoa has a calf injury, while fellow prop James Slipper is on leave after the birth of his first child. Noah Lolesio is also ruled out after suffering concussion symptoms after last weekend's loss to the Waikato Chiefs.

Defeat to the Rebels at Canberra Stadium could see the Brumbies fall out of the top four if the Wellington Hurricanes beat the champion Canterbury Crusaders at home.

The top four teams earn home advantage in the quarter-finals.

The loss of Alaalatoa and Slipper leaves the Brumbies with a makeshift front row made up of Fred Kaihea, Connal McInerney and Sefo Kautai to face the 11th-placed Rebels, who head to Canberra with confidence after thrashing Western Force 52-14.

In better news for the Brumbies, scrumhalf Nic White returns from injury and will captain the side in what could be his last appearance in front of home fans before crossing to Force next year.

Flyhalf Jack Debreczeni will partner White in the halves, while lock Cadeyrn Neville also returns after a stint in hospital for a knee infection.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told reporters on Wednesday his team were concentrating only on the Rebels, who could yet sneak into the playoffs if results go their way.

"We're not thinking about the finals, but we know the importance of winning this game and getting a home quarter-final," he said.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Helen Popper)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Rugby

Rugby-Namibia coach calls for change to avoid history repeating itself
Rugby-Uruguay stage second-half rally to keep Namibia winless
Rugby-Pollard starts for much-changed Springboks against Tonga
Rugby-All Blacks recall quartet after injury to face Italy threat
Rugby-Organisers back 'bunker review' consistency at World Cup
Rugby-Barnstorming Bundee shines among backline attackers at World Cup
Rugby-Italy go back to basics for New Zealand clash in Lyon
Rugby-Tonga's Fifita hit with four-match ban for high tackle
Rugby-All Blacks report clean bill of health going into Italy match
Rugby-Kickers worth their weight in gold at Rugby World Cup

Others Also Read