Brumbies must nullify Naiyaravoro: Kuridrani

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Stopping a fit, firing Taqele Naiyaravoro will be top priority for the Brumbies, as they prepare for the culmination of "Tah week".

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has given his side the green light to open the shoulders and spread the ball at will by naming Naiyaravoro for his first start of the season, with superstar Israel Folau also staying on the right flank.

The inclusion of Naiyaravoro was an eye catching one for Tevita Kuridrani, who labelled the lead up to the biggest match on the Brumbies' calendar "Tah week".

"Big Taqele on the wing - I think he will be a big threat for us as a backline," Kuridrani said.

"He'll be trying to beat guys one-on-one down the wing but we have done the work this week, practicing our defence and our one-on-one tackles.

"If you give him more time with the ball in a one-on-one and give him that run up it's hard to stop him.Christian Lealiifano and the Brumbies face the Waratahs on Saturday. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"You have to get him before he really starts running with the ball."

The inclusion of Naiyaravoro adds an extra dash of firepower to a Waratahs backline that is already Australia's most imposing but up front, the Brumbies have some fresh firepower of their own.

David Pocock will be the most significant "in" the Brumbies have all year, as they strive for their first derby win of the season.

"It's amazing to have him back in Brumbies colours and we're all looking forward to him having a big one tomorrow," Brumbies captain Christian Lealiifano said.

"His qualities as a leader are going to be important for us and then it's just about how he goes about his work.

"The boys are really getting a boost about having him around and when he talks the boys definitely listen."David Pocock is back. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe typically fierce derby is one that will have huge consequences for the Brumbies, in particular.

While they have a game in hand, ACT trail the Rebels by 12 points on the Australian Conference ladder.

If Melbourne break the 32 game trans-Tasman losing streak against the Hurricanes on Friday that gap could stretch out to as much as 17 points - making a win a non-negotiable at this early juncture in the season.

Their slow start, in some part, has been due to an attempted revamp of the Brumbies attack.

Kuridrani admits he has time to adjust to life on field with less structure in place but their win against the Sharks showed glimpses of the new attack coming together.

"In the past few years it's been really direct and me hitting it up," Kuridrani said.

"This year we are just trying to play what's in front of us - open rugby and getting the ball to space.

'It's new to everyone down here at the Brumbies but we have been working on it and the boys are enjoying the new structure.

"The boys have been training really well this week and we're pumped."

The Brumbies host the Waratahs at GIO Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.