Retiring Clyde Rathbone replaces sick Robbie Coleman
May 30, 2014
Clyde Rathbone will play his first Super Rugby match since the 2013 grand final against the Chiefs having been named in the Brumbies' starting line-up to face Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
Clyde Rathbone is set to make his first Super Rugby start in 10 months © Getty Images
Rathbone, 32, has played just 180 minutes of club rugby in the past 14 weeks after suffering a persistent hamstring injury, but the former Wallabies winger, who will retire from rugby for the second time at the end of the year, has been named to replace Robbie Coleman on the left wing against the Rebels.
Coleman misses the match due to gastro, and his natural replacement, Joe Tomane, is unavailable for selection due to his broken cheekbone
"You never know when it will be your last game," said Rathbone, who toured his native South Africa recently as a Brumbies reserve. "That's how I've approached the last couple of years, and last year I told myself that every game was my last game. The more I think about it, this will be my last year in rugby. I want to make it a good one in the last few games. When you're getting towards the end of your career, you realise how big of an occasion these games are. You never know when it's your last one."
Rathbone is one of three changes to the starting side as the Brumbies attempt to regain the winning habit after consecutive losses to the Cheetahs and the Bulls in South Africa saw them slip to seventh on the Super Rugby ladder and third in the Australian conference standings.
Pat McCabe has been called up to replace benched Jesse Mogg at fullback, with Ruan Smith making his first Super Rugby start this year having been named to replace Wallabies prop Ben Alexander.
Michael Dowsett returns to the bench as Nic White's understudy, for Conrad Hoffmann, with the squad otherwise unchanged from that which lost to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld last week.
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"The Rebels have played the spoilers in the later stages of the last couple of seasons and will be focussed on knocking us out," Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said. "Last time we played, they managed to control the game and strangled us out of the contest. It's vital for us to make sure that doesn't happen again on Saturday night."
Brumbies: Pat McCabe; Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Clyde Rathbone; Matt Toomua, Nic White; Ben Mowen (captain), Jarrad Butler, Fotu Auelua; Sam Carter, Scott Fardy; Ruan Smith, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Replacements: Josh Mann-Rea, Ben Alexander, JP Smith, Leon Power, Jordan Smiler, Michael Dowsett, Andrew Smith, Jesse Mogg.
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