David Pocock has been named in the Brumbies’ side to take on the Sunwolves in Canberra.
David Pocock has been named in the Brumbies’ side to take on the Sunwolves in Canberra.

Brumbies deny Cheika plea to rest Wallabies

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has ignored Michael Cheika's request to rest Wallabies stars David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa for Sunday's clash with the Sunwolves.

Cheika had asked the Brumbies to sit the trio so they could better prepare for the Test series opener against Ireland on June 9 - a six day turnaround from the Super Rugby match.

McKellar said the saga had been a distraction for the club and the players but believed it was important to take a stand for rugby in Canberra.

"Once I returned to Australia, I got in contact with Michael and we had a discussion," McKellar said.

"We both understand each other's positions and in this instance we can't come to an agreement.

"It's about winning a football game but also making sure our members, supporters and stakeholders get to see the best version of the Brumbies every week."

An email was sent to Brumbies members last week, warning the club "may no longer exist" if attendances don't pick up.

The club has promised to donate $5000 each to three Canberra charities if they reach their targeted crowd of 15,000.

But Cheika has insisted the national team needs to be put first, saying he had made a "common sense" request, and the Brumbies will draw a big crowd no matter what.

The Brumbies made just one change to their side, with hooker Connal McInenery coming in for Wallabies bolter Folau Fainga'a who is suspended for a headbutt against the Bulls.

McKellar is yet to name his reserve hooker.

The Sunwolves are missing their Japanese Test contingent as well as coaches Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown.
Former Crusaders player Scott Hansen will take the Sunwolves coaching reins instead.