Alexander finally gets Super 14 start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Alexander finally gets Super 14 start

18/03/2009 12:25:35 PM Comments (0)

He's already played four Tests for Australia and prop Ben Alexander will finally make his Super 14 starting debut for the Brumbies this weekend.

Coach Andy Friend named Alexander at loosehead prop ahead of Nic Henderson among three changes to his starting team to play the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) as they begin a three-match stint in South Africa.

Alexander is joined in the front row by tighthead prop Guy Shepherdson returning after a stomach infection ruled him out of the 21-11 win over the NSW Waratahs last Saturday.

Julian Salvi replaces injured captain Stephen Hoiles at No.8 after Hoiles tore his medial ligament against the Waratahs, ruling him out of action for three to six weeks.

While Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock appears an obvious choice to resume the Brumbies leadership until Hoiles returns, Friend said he would name an interim captain later in the week.

Alexander, 24, played four times for the Wallabies under new coach Robbie Deans last year including starting in the late season European tour Tests against Italy and France.

But he has been behind Henderson in the Brumbies pecking order until now.

"Ben has made a great impact in each of his performances off the bench this season," said Friend.

"Ben's in the unusual position of having started in a Test match before making his Super 14 starting debut but fortunately he'll get that opportunity this weekend."

Utility forward Shawn Mackay is the fourth change to the Brumbies' line-up and is set to make his Super 14 debut after being named on the bench.

The backline remains in tact with Tyrone Smith and Stirling Mortlock to continue their midfield partnership while wingers Adam Ashley-Cooper and Francis Fainifo, and fullback Mark Gerrard make up the back three.

Scrumhalf Joshua Holmes and Christian Lealiifano have again been named in the halves.

Mark Gerrard, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Stirling Mortlock, Tyrone Smith, Francis Fainifo, Christian Lealiifano, Josh Holmes, Julian Salvi, George Smith, Peter Kimlin, Mark Chisholm, Ben Hand, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Res: Huia Edmonds, Nic Henderson, Sitaleki Timani, Shawn Mackay, Patrick Phibbs, Matt Toomua, Clyde Rathbone

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