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Giant Brumbies lock to make Super debut

Roar Guru
12th February, 2015
5

The Brumbies will boast the equal tallest player in Super Rugby history when lock Rory Arnold plays against the Queensland Reds in Canberra on Friday night.

Measuring in at 208cms, the Wagga-born behemoth will share the Super Rugby record with South African Andries Bekker.

Arnold made headlines last year when he was accused – then later cleared – of biting an opponent after scoring a try in his Currie Cup debut in South Africa last year.

Having shed 20kgs since joining the Brumbies, the 120kg Arnold only started playing rugby union three years ago at the age of 21.

“He obviously brings a lot of size, so it gives us a number of options in the lineout,” said coach Stephen Larkham.

“He carries the ball extremely well, and defensively, he reads the game very well due to a rugby league background.”

Arnold will be paired in the second row with Wallaby Sam Carter, while Josh Mann-Rea will start at hooker with Wallabies rake Stephen Moore set to make his long-awaited return from a knee reconstruction via the bench.

With the return of David Pocock (captain) to the Brumbies’ No.7 jersey, Jarrad Butler will slide back to No.8, while Scott Fardy has been named at blindside.

In the backs, hard-hitting Wallaby Matt Toomua will look to make Karmichael Hunt’s Super Rugby debut at five-eighth for the Reds a forgettable one.

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Toomua will steer a star-studded backline, including Wallabies Joe Tomane, Henry Speight, Christian Lealiifano and Tevita Kuridrani, while Robbie Coleman will play at fullback for the injured Jesse Mogg.

Backrower Ita Vaea’s two-year battle with a heart condition is also over, and he makes his return to the Brumbies from the bench, where he’ll be joined by debutant backs James Dargaville and Lausii Taliauli.

Prop Ben Alexander will be playing his 100th Super Rugby match.

Brumbies: Robbie Coleman, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane, Matt Toomua, Nic White (vc), Jarrad Butler, David Pocock (c), Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Ben Alexander, Josh Mann-Rea, Scott Sio. Res: Stephen Moore, JP Smith, Ruan Smith, Jordan Smiler, Ita Vaea, Michael Dowsett, James Dargaville, Lausii Taliauli.