The Brumbies have named 19-year-old lock Tom Staniforth to debut for the Brumbies against the Queensland Reds this Friday.
The Brumbies will throw a teenage part-time pub glassy up against two Wallabies locks when they take on the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Friday.
Brumbies second-rower Tom Staniforth, 19, will face Australia’s best Super Rugby lock pair James Horwill and Rob Simmons at Suncorp Stadium.
Staniforth, who still lives at home with mum and dad, pours beers and collects glasses at Canberra pubs to support his minimum wage Brumbies contract.
He’s been thrust into the role after knee injuries to locks Sam Carter and Leon Power.
Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen described the 196cm, 113kg Australian under-20 representative as a quiet, “straighty-180” kind of guy off the field – yet don’t let that fool you.
“When he takes to the field there’s a beast that comes out,” Mowen said,
“He’s such a pest to train against.”
With the Reds boasting one of the best defensive lineouts in the comp, their coach Richard Graham earlier in the week said they’d target the Brumbies’ injury-hit lineout.
Mowen shrugged at the tactics on Thursday, saying Staniforth was a good aerial player.
“When you’re (up against) jumping options like the Reds have, you need to have variation in your lineout so he’ll be a valuable component,” Mowen said.
The desperate Reds have been attempting to disrupt the second-placed Brumbies through mind games all week.
Their primary objective has been to ruffle the feathers of Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg, who has bounced back to top form since succumbing to pressure late in the season opening loss to the Reds.
Mowen labelled the overt tactics as unusual and suggested the 11th placed Reds might be starting to feel the pressure.
“I was surprised to hear a few of those things. But talk’s irrelevant,” he said.
And while Mowen was careful to stop short of using the word revenge, it was clear the Brumbies would be out to exact retribution against the Reds for knocking them off in front of their home crowd in the season opener.
“We need to make sure that’s not forgotten about. There needs to be a reaction to that,” Mowen said.
The Brumbies pack will receive a boost from the returns of two Wallabies, hooker Stephen Moore and prop Scott Sio.
Meanwhile the Reds, who are at risk of their first back-to-back home losses since 2009-10, have recalled tough-tackling centre Anthony Fainga’a and young gun Chris Feauai-Sautia to their injury-hit backline.
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Pat McCabe, Robbie Coleman, Matt Toomua, Nic White, Ben Mowen (c), Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler, Tom Staniforth, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Res: Siliva Siliva, Ruan Smith, JP Smith, Jack Whetton, Lachlan McCaffrey, Michael Dowsett, Andrew Smith, Christian Lealiifano.