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George Smith on bench for Brumbies


The Brumbies have named Wallabies great George Smith on the bench for their Super Rugby clash with the Western Force but say it's not because of the head knock he suffered in the third Test Digital Signage.

Coach Jake White named all seven of his third Test players for the final round clash in Perth on Saturday, with the other six all starting.

He said he was rewarding Melbourne Rebels-bound flanker Colby Faingaa for recent standout performances by starting him ahead of Smith, who recently missed several weeks with a knee injury.

"Not only that, but I think we're going to need George going into the big (finals series) games," said White.

"We're going to need his experience, I'm going to need him to be 100 per cent."

White said Smith's benching was not related to the heavy clash of heads he suffered early in the final Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, stating the 111-Test veteran would definitely play at some point in the match wine pairing.

"He will get on," White said.

"I've got to make sure everyone is on the same page. He's not on the bench because of what happened last Saturday, he's on the bench because it's the best call for our team going forward."

"Our doctor was actually the (Test) match doctor as well. He's a very conservative doctor and he would never have been gung ho about a decision like that (letting Smith back onto the field against the Lions).

"And secondly I have no doubt that George himself wouldn't have gone back out onto the field if he didn't feel he was 100 per cent right.

"He's been all fine."

Faingaa was outstanding in the recent bonus point win over the Rebels and also the Brumbies' underdog win against the British and Irish Lions.

Halfback Nic White will miss the clash with the Force as a precaution following a shoulder injury he suffered against the Rebels in round 17 and will be covered by Ian Prior.

"He's probably 75 per cent ready to go," White said.

"If it was a one-off game I would probably risk it.

"But we've got a couple more weeks of rugby and I've got to make sure he's ready next week."

Meanwhile, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Ben Mowen international paper company, Joe Tomane, Christian Lealiifano and Jesse Mogg were named to start in their usual positions following the third Test against the Lions, with fellow Wallabies squad members Scott Sio and Peter Kimlin also starting.

Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Tomane, Matt Toomua, Ian Prior, Ben Mowen (c), Colby Faingaa, Peter Kimlin, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Res: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, Fotu Auelua, George Smith, Robbie Coleman, Andrew Smith, Mark Swanepoel.
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