Wright returns as Plus500 Brumbies named to take on Waratahs

Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 6:00 AM
ACT Brumbies Media
by ACT Brumbies Media
Tom Wright will make his first appearance this season on Friday night against the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
Tom Wright will make his first appearance this season on Friday night against the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies winger Tom Wright will make his first appearance this year, overcoming a knee injury to start for the Plus500 Brumbies in their clash with traditional rivals the NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Friday night.

Wright is one of three changes to the starting XV from the side that defeated the Western Force in Round Six, with tall-timber Nick Frost earning his first start for the season in the second row and Tom Cusack recovering from a shoulder injury to take his place at openside flanker.

After an impressive run-on debut, Harry Lloyd will again start at loosehead prop alongside Wallabies duo Folau Fainga'a and James Slipper.

Frost will be joined in the second row by Cadeyrn Neville who will be looking to continue his impressive performances in 2021 which saw him named in Dave Rennie's first Wallabies squad for the year.

He will be joined in the national camp by backrowers Rob Valetini and Pete Samu who have started every game so far this season, with Cusack rounding out the forward pack.

Number nine Nic White will again skipper the side, continuing his halves partnership alongside youngster Noah Lolesio, with fellow national squad members Irae Simone and Len Ikitau at inside and outside centre respectively.

Wright's return sees first-time Wallaby squad member Andy Muirhead switch to the left wing with Tom Banks a mainstay in the number 15 jersey.

Another new selection in the Wallabies training squad, local product Lachlan Lonergan will be the reserve hooker alongside last week's Brumbies debutants Fred Kaihea and Sefo Kautai, who will be the replacement props.

James Tucker will provide cover for the second row with Academy graduate Rory Scott in line for his second cap after an impressive debut last Friday night.

Sharp shooter Ryan Lonergan will again provide energy off the pine as the reserve scrumhalf, with playmaker Bayley Kuenzle set to make his first appearance in 2021 in Sydney. Mack Hansen rounds out the gameday 23.

Plus500 Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: "Wrighty's just got to turn up on Friday night and do his job, get the basics done well. He knows he hasn't played in a long time, don't have too high expectations on himself and just go about doing his role and if opportunity and space comes then we know that he's dangerous in that area of the game."

"Bayley was excellent in pre-season, probably in our top three performers. I'm pleased for him off the back over a lot of hard work over November, December and January he finally gets a chance to pull on the jersey.

"The Waratahs will have a little bit more emotion and motivation on board this week no doubt. We've just got to focus on getting our game right, when we do that we tend to play well."


1. Harry Lloyd

2. Folau Fainga'a

3. James Slipper

4. Nick Frost

5. Cadeyrn Neville

6. Rob Valetini

7. Tom Cusack

8. Pete Samu

9. Nic White (c)

10. Noah Lolesio

11. Andy Muirhead

12. Irae Simone

13. Len Ikitau

14. Tom Wright

15. Tom Banks


16. Lachlan Lonergan

17. Fred Kaihea

18. Sefo Kautai

19. James Tucker

20. Rory Scott

21. Ryan Lonergan

22. Bayley Kuenzle

23. Mack Hansen


The Plus500 Brumbies play the NSW Waratahs in Round Seven of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU at the Sydney Crickey Ground this Friday April 2 at 7:45pm AEDT. LIVE and AD FREE on the new Home of Rugby, Stan Sport.