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Speight returns

Saturday, May 17, 2014

CANBERRA - Brumbies winger Henry Speight will be thrust straight back into the starting side against the Cheetahs this weekend following two months on the sideline with a broken jaw.

Speight's naming on the wing for tomorrow morning's Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein is the only change made to the starting side that out-kicked the table-topping Sharks 16-9 in Canberra last week.

The Brumbies coaches are confident the match-starved Speight will hit the ground running in what is a clean swap with injured Wallabies winger Joe Tomane, who will be out for up to two months with a fractured eye socket.

The Fijian-flyer, who is eligible for the Wallabies from September 11, has experienced success in South Africa in the past two seasons with five tries in as many games.

Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher said Speight's return to full health has came at a good time.

"We all know how dangerous he is with the ball so it'll be good to see him take advantage of any opportunities which may come his way," Fisher said of Australia's top Super Rugby try-scorer in 2012 and 2013.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies have locked down another two young players with prop Allan Alaalatoa and lock Tom Staniforth signing their first fulltime contracts — both two year deals.

While 122kg Alaalatoa travelled with the team to South Africa in search of his Super Rugby debut, Staniforth has stayed back home to prepare for the Junior World Cup.

Both players are expected to play major roles in the Australian under-20 team.

Alaalatoa has been a family friend of Wallabies prop Scott Sio since childhood.

Both have Samoan heritage and their fathers played together in the front row for Samoa at the 1991 World Cup.

The friendship has helped Alaalatoa overcome his home-sickness since moving from Sydney.

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