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Brumbies unchanged for Super Rugby semi

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) The ACT Brumbies have named the same team that beat the defending champion Chiefs last weekend for Saturday's Super Rugby semifinal against the New South Wales Waratahs.

The Brumbies were beaten 39-8 by the Waratahs when the teams met last month in the regular season. But they recovered form to beat the Western Force 37-25 to reach the playoffs, then ended the Chiefs' two-year reign as Super Rugby champions 32-30 in last weekend's qualifying final.

The Brumbies avoided injuries during a bruising clash with the Chiefs and are only weakened for Saturday's match by long-term injuries to Wallabies David Pocock and Stephen Moore.


McCaw back after injury for Crusaders

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has been named at blindside flanker in the Crusaders' starting lineup for Saturday's Super Rugby semifinal against the Sharks.

McCaw has been sidelined since he suffered a broken rib during New Zealand's June test series against England and will play away from his usual position att openside flanker where Matt Todd has been retained. (MORE)

Speight named in Wallabies squad

SYDNEY (AP) Fiji-born winger Henry Speight was picked by Australia for the Rugby Championship next month even though he's available for only the last three of their six matches.

Speight won't be eligible to play for the Wallabies until Sept. 11, the end of his 36-month wait to play test rugby. (MORE)

Folau back for Super Rugby semifinal

SYDNEY (AP) Prolific tryscoring fullback Israel Folau will return to the New South Wales Waratahs' starting lineup for Saturday's Super Rugby semifinal against the ACT Brumbies, bringing the tournament favorites to full strength.

Folau, who has scored 12 tries this season, returns for the Australian derby along with South African flanker Jacques Potgeiter and Wallabies winger Rob Horne. (MORE)

Ex-All Blacks prop Skinner dies aged 86

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Kevin Skinner, a famously rugged All Blacks prop who became part of New Zealand rugby folklore for his role in its first test series win over South Africa, has died. He was 86.

New Zealand Rugby Union said Skinner, who was also a national heavyweight boxing champion, passed away Sunday night. (MORE)

Sharks beat Highlanders to reach semis

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) The Sharks dug deep for a 31-27 win over the Highlanders to make the Super Rugby semifinals on Saturday, finally subduing a tenacious New Zealand team which twice came from behind to lead and was ultimately denied in the final minutes.

Despite holding forward dominance throughout the playoff at home at Kings Park, the Sharks were trailing with seven minutes to go and needed two late penalties by flyhalf Frans Steyn to take their place in the last four and keep alive hopes of a first title. (MORE)

Brumbies beat Chiefs to reach final

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) The ACT Brumbies ensured the Super Rugby title will pass into new hands when they rallied after squandering a commanding lead to beat the two-time defending champion Chiefs 32-30 in a thrilling first-round playoff on Saturday.

Flanker Jarrad Butler scored his first Super Rugby try in the 60th minute to give the Brumbies a winning margin, dethroning the Chiefs who trailed 22-3 after 28 minutes before recovering to draw level at 25-25, 14 minutes into the second half. (MORE)

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