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Pocock to lead Brumbies warm-up

Espn Scrum
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

David Pocock will captain the Brumbies in their first Super Rugby pre-season trial against the Highlanders in Queenstown on Friday.

Pocock has not played for the Brumbies since he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee nine months ago, three games into the Super Rugby 2013, season, but he said recently that he was "feeling fit and good".

He is expected to play the first 40 minutes of the match, while recruits Haru Tetakawa, Jarrad Butler, Jack Whetton, Lionel Cronje and Conrad Hoffmann will also feature.

The Brumbies will fly to New Zealand tomorrow morning with a squad featuring all five Extended Playing Squad members — Lachlan McCaffrey, Michael Dowsett, Stephan Van Der Walt, Jean-Pierre Smith and Allan Alaalatoa — as well as train-on squad players Rodney Iona, Matt Hawke, Michael Smith and Tom Staniforth.

Highlanders coach Jamie Jospeph, meanwhile, named a starting side featuring seven first-time players: Craig Millar, Gareth Evans, Lee Allan, Tom Franklin, Richard Buckman, Winston Stanley and Patrick Osborne. Buckman and Osborne have joined the franchise from the Hurricanes and Chiefs respectively.

The entire squad will travel to Queenstown, and most players will enjoy some game time — most notably Highlanders debutants Kane Hame, who joined from Bay of Plenty, Ged Robinson (Melbourne Rebels), Malakai Fekitoa (Blues) and Argentina international Matias Diaz.

The game will be played in four 20-minute quarters with a five-minute drinks break after the first and third quarters. The match will feature a standard half-time break.

Highlanders starting XV: Trent Renata, Patrick Osborne, Winston Stanley, Shaun Treeby, Richard Buckman; Hayden Parker, Frae Wilson; Elliot Dixon, Lee Allan, Gareth Evans; Tom Franklin, Jarrad Hoeata; Ma'afu Fia, Liam Coltman (captain), Craig Millar.

Brumbies squad: Allan Alaalatoa , Fotu Auelua, Jarrad Butler, Sam Carter, Robbie Coleman, Lionel Cronje, Michael Dowsett, Matt Hawke, Conrad Hoffman, Rod Iona, Josh MannRea , Pat McCabe, Lachlan McCaffery, David Pocock, Leon Power, Clyde Rathbone, Siliva Siliva, Scott Sio, Andrew Smith, JP Smith, Michael Smith, Ruan Smith, Henry Speight, Tom Stainiforth, Haru Tetakawa, Jack Whetton, Stephan Van der Walt.


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