Lolesio, White on bench for Brumbies' clash with Tahs
Wallabies duo Nic White and Noah Lolesio won't start for the ACT Brumbies in their season-opener against the NSW Waratahs, but returning coach Stephen Larkham says it's all part of his plan.
Veteran scrumhalf White and emerging five-eighth Lolesio will come off the bench for Friday night's Allianz Stadium blockbuster, Larkham citing a need for continuity in his starting squad after neither featured in a pair of trial games.
It means former Melbourne Rebels playmaker Jack Debreczeni will start at No.10 after joining the club in the off-season, pairing with Ryan Lonergan in the halves as the teams begin the Super Rugby Pacific campaign.
Young winger Corey Toole will also get his Brumbies debut, the excitement machine having starred in the trial games after crossing to the code from rugby sevens.
Larkham said he'd look to White and Lolesio to close the game out, but headed in confident in his starting duo.
"Jack's been really impressive in the games and he's also been a real leader out there on the field ... it makes sense to make sure we've got continuity into that first game," he said.
"I've been really impressed with Noah in training, and Whitey is a seasoned veteran and knows how to control the tempo of the game ... I've got complete confidence in those two."
The Brumbies will look to Tamati Tua at inside-centre to fill the void left by Irae Simone (Clermont), while Tom Wright shifts from wing to fullback following Tom Banks' move to Japan.
Toole looks the obvious answer to reproduce some of the game-breaking plays Banks became renowned for in the ACT, but Larkham said there were dynamic players across the board.
"I've got a few of those guys across the backline and through the forward pack as well ... (with) x-factor and quite dangerous with ball in hand," he said.
"We don't have anything special for Corey, he's a flyer, he's going to be out wide, he's going to be waiting for his opportunities and ideally he's going to take them."
ACT BRUMBIES SQUAD TO FACE THE NSW WARATAHS:
Blake Schoupp, Connal McInerney, Allan Alaalatoa, Nick Frost, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valetini, Rory Scott, Pete Samu, Ryan Lonergan, Jack Debreczeni, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright. Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, James Slipper, Rhys Van Nek, Darcy Swain, Luke Reimer, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Ollie Sapsford.