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No sentiment for Brumbies trio's last game

By Ed Logue 09/06/2011 07:31:25 PM Comments (0)

Captain Matt Giteau said the final home Super Rugby game for three mainstays of the Brumbies wouldn't be a distraction as the ACT side seek to avenge their costly loss to the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.

France-bound Giteau is one of three players saying goodbye to the Canberra faithful along with NSW Waratahs signing Adam Ashley-Cooper and backrower Mitchell Chapman, who is headed for Japan.

"We haven't spoken about it being anyone in particular's last game or a reason to lift," Giteau said.

In round two, the Rebels posted a shock 25-24 win against the Brumbies in Melbourne.

That loss precipitated the sacking of Andy Friend as head coach the following week and was the start of the season slide for the proud Canberra-based franchise.

Giteau said the focus was on repeating the performance following his side's shock 22-14 win against Super Rugby leaders the Queensland Reds last round.

A win against the Rebels would be the first back-to-back victories for the Brumbies since May 2010 and consign Melbourne to the wooden spoon in the Australian conference in their maiden year.

The Rebels are the worst Australian team in the competition and sit five points below the Brumbies in the penultimate round of Super Rugby.

The two-time Super Rugby championship winning Brumbies have just three wins from 14 matches in their worst season since the competition began in 1996.

Coach Tony Rea has made three changes from last weekend's winning team.

Chapman switches from blindside flanker to No.8 for the suspended Ita Vaea, while Henry Vanderglas moves from the reserves to the blindside role, with Tom Boidin coming onto the bench.

Peter Kimlin replaces the injured Mark Chisholm at lock with Sam Carter onto the bench.

Carter and Boidin are set to make their Super Rugby debuts from the bench.

Giteau said watching former Brumbies captain Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard and Julian Huxley playing for the Rebels, took some adjustment earlier in the year.

The three return to Canberra Stadium for the first time since leaving the Brumbies.

But Giteau said his side's focus would also turn to five-eighth Danny Cipriani after the wayward Englishman was picked to play his first match since late April.

Cipriani was on the outer following a suspension for an off-field breach and then due to a contractual stand-off with Melbourne.

Giteau said the former English Test player would be a "good challenge" for him.

The 23-year-old punished the Brumbies when he kicked 20 points to help record the Rebels' first win in their Super Rugby history in late February.

"He brings a little bit more creativity, certainly in attack, while obviously his goalkicking as well," Giteau said.

"He can hurt you anywhere in your half.

"That is obviously something we have to be wary off."

Rebels coach Rod Macqueen, the inaugural coach of the Brumbies, has made several changes to the side that lost 40-3 to the Stormers last Friday.

The selection of Cipriani at five-eighth shifts Huxley to the centres, Gerrard to fullback and last week's custodian, Richard Kingi to the wing, with Lachlan Mitchell relegated to the bench.

Lock Kevin O'Neil replaces Hugh Pyle, with Rodney Blake returning to the side at loose-head prop and Greg Somerville at tight-head with Laurie Weeks a reserve.

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