Fiji Time: 10:23 AM on Sunday 25 June

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Lealiifano a 'big game player': Brumbies

AAP
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Update: 7:16PM Christian Lealiifano is a big game player.

That's why the Brumbies have given him the No.12 jersey and dropped the in-form Pat McCabe for Friday's Super Rugby grand final rematch against the Chiefs in Canberra.

The clash between the two conference leaders will be a tough run-on return for Lealiifano, who missed the first month of the season due to ankle surgery following last year's Wallabies duties.

He's been stuck behind McCabe for a month but, according to Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher, there's no better time for Lealiifano to return than against last year's Super Rugby champions.

"He's a big game player - right through the Lions series, right through the Wallabies season and how he performed at the back end of last Super Rugby season," Fisher said.

It's a harsh blow for McCabe, whose hard, straight running lines have earned him man-of-the-match in two Brumbies' outings, despite returning from his second broken neck at the beginning of the season.

"Paddy has done exceptionally well. But we need to be working towards finding out our absolute best 15," Fisher said.

"And we think it's important in this game to have a ball player at second receiver."

Captain Ben Mowen added that Lealiifano, who slotted penalty goals at an unrivalled 88 per cent last season, had sealed late victories for the Brumbies and Wallabies in recent times.

"He's world class. You can't underestimate the importance of scoreboard pressure," Mowen said.

Also returning for the Brumbies will be underrated lock Sam Carter, who's missed two matches with a knee injury.

"Week in, week out, he's either first or second in the tackle count and, in the ruck count, he's the same," Mowen said.

The return of Carter will also help the Brumbies apply pressure on the Chiefs' lineout.

The Brumbies have the competition's best lineout success rate on their own throw (94 per cent), while the Chiefs (74 per cent) are the worst performers.

"It's an area we try and target every week and certainly (will) against the Chiefs," Fisher said.

The Chiefs' late victory in last year's final is still a sore point for the Brumbies.

Mowen said he still found it too tough to watch the final.

"For us as a side, it's still very fresh," he said.

Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Robbie Coleman, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (capt), Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Res: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, JP Smith, Jack Whetton, Tom McVerry, Michael Dowsett, Andrew Smith, Pat McCabe.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.64830.6293
JPY 55.152652.1526
GBP 0.38480.3768
EUR 0.43900.4270
NZD 0.68110.6481
AUD 0.65260.6276
USD 0.49180.4748

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 23rd, June, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Flying finish!
  2. Kepa urges civil servants to voice their concerns
  3. MP assures public not to worry
  4. $5m housing project for 1330 people
  5. MP: Lack of quality graduates a worry
  6. Assessors find trio guilty
  7. Villagers receive new solar system
  8. Diabetes treatment improves
  9. Farmers concerned about stray, wild animals
  10. Museum open day

Top Stories this Week

  1. Radio host cleared of rape Tuesday (20 Jun)
  2. Pastor denies claims Thursday (22 Jun)
  3. 4 dead Thursday (22 Jun)
  4. Electricity bills worry customers Monday (19 Jun)
  5. No terror link Tuesday (20 Jun)
  6. Media boss in road accident inquiry Thursday (22 Jun)
  7. Under scrutiny Wednesday (21 Jun)
  8. Villagers raise funds for store Monday (19 Jun)
  9. Umarji walks free Friday (23 Jun)
  10. Life on a cane farm Tuesday (20 Jun)