Coleman replaces Speight on Brumbies wing

The Brumbies have recalled Robbie Coleman to replace injured winger Henry Speight in this weekend’s Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Speight is expected to be out of action for eight weeks and may need surgery for a bone fracture above his eye.

The Wallaby met with surgeons in Canberra on Thursday to determine the extent of the damage, suffered in a head clash with teammate Christian Lealiifano in last week’s loss to the Stormers in Cape Town.

Coleman is slated to make his first start of the season, having missed the first two games due to a leg injury and named on the bench the following two rounds.

Ita Vaea also returns to the starting side, the back-rower recovering from a serious finger injury to replace Jarrad Butler who is out with a knee complaint.

Rookie hooker Robbie Abel will fill in for the suspended Josh Mann-Rea and could make his debut off the bench, while Ruan Smith is set for his first Super Rugby game of the season as a reserve.

The Brumbies remain on top of the Australian conference heading into Sunday morning’s (AEDT) match in South Africa, but are coming off their first loss of the season and with plenty of drama at HQ.

The franchise is embroiled in a legal battle with chief executive Michael Jones, who was stood down by the board on Monday only to return to work 36 hours later after winning a temporary injunction.

Jones met with a host of ACT club powerbrokers on Wednesday night in a bid to keep his job for the long term.

The case, partly revolving around a radio interview Jones gave about the state of the Brumbies’ finances, returns to court on Tuesday.

Brumbies: Aidan Toua, Joe Tomane, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Robbie Coleman, Christian Lealiifano (c), Tomas Cubelli, Ita Vaea, David Pocock, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore (c), Scott Sio. Reserves: Robbie Abel, Allan Alaalatoa, Ruan Smith, Tom Staniforth, Jordan Smiler, Michael Dowsett, James Dargaville, Nigel Ah Wong.

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