Jake names team to face Lions

Jake White (Getty Images)
Jake White (Getty Images)

Canberra - ACT Brumbies coach Jake White, shorn of most of his Wallabies, has named a pair of debutant props in his team to take on the British and Irish Lions in their sixth tour match on Tuesday.

The World Cup-winning former Springboks coach has included Chris Cocca and Jean-Pierre Smith on the bench for the match at Canberra Stadium in a team led by number eight Peter Kimlin.

Kimlin was released from the Wallabies camp with prop Scott Sio last week to bolster the side amid controversy over the weakness of the provincial teams facing the tourists as they prepare for the three-match test series.

"This is a huge occasion for us as a team, but also individually," White said in a media release.

"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."

Even with the inclusion of Kimlin and Sio, the Brumbies may struggle up front but their backs have enough power and pace to trouble a Lions team with three players, including 36-year-old winger Shane Williams, who will have just arrived in Australia.

Former Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone will start on one wing with the powerful Henry Speight on the other, while fullback Jesse Mogg was unlucky not to make the Australia squad for the test series.

Flyhalf Matt Toomua is another who was close to making the Wallabies squad and White thinks the centre partnership of Andrew Smith and Tevita Kuridrani might be a handful for the debutant Lions midfield of Brad Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees.

"In the backs, it's comforting to be able to include a guy like Andrew Smith, who's got plenty of experience," he added.

"With Tevita, they form a big centre pairing and it will be interesting to see how they combine."

The Lions have largely bossed the breakdown in their five victories so far and it will be interesting to see how 22-year-old openside flanker Colby Faingaa fares against an experienced Lions back row.

Younger brother of Wallabies twins Saia and Anthony, Faingaa has been tipped for a big future and has grabbed his chance to claim the number seven shirt at the Brumbies after injuries to Wallabies David Pocock and George Smith.

Team:

15-Jesse Mogg, 14-Henry Speight, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 12-Andrew Smith, 11-Clyde Rathbone, 10-Matt Toomua, 9-Ian Prior, 8-Peter Kimlin (captain), 7-Colby Faingaa, 6-Scott Fardy, 5-Sam Carter, 4-Leon Power, 3-Scott Sio, 2-Siliva Siliva, 1-Ruan Smith.

Replacements: 16-Josh Mann-Rea, 17-Jean-Pierre Smith, 18-Chris Cocca, 19-Etienne Oosthuizen, 20-Jordan Smiler, 21-Mark Swanepoel, 22-Robbie Coleman, 23-Zack Holmes.

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