Rugby: Try-magnet Coleman in ahead of Tomane

By David Barbeler

Robbie Coleman. Photo / Getty Images
Robbie Coleman. Photo / Getty Images

Last year Brumbies back Robbie Coleman was best described as a handy utility, getting the odd gig off the bench.

But the try-scoring pocket rocket has been in such hot form this year that he's been given the nod ahead of Wallabies flyer Joe Tomane for tonight's qualifying final against the Chiefs in Canberra.

The Brumbies have made only one change to their starting side after their 47-25 win over Western Force, Coleman returning from a quad niggle to replace veteran winger Clyde Rathbone, who has tweaked his hamstring.

It's a much-deserved reward for Coleman, 23, who has made the most of opportunities presented to him through injury to be the season's third-leading try scorer with seven.

Dubbed the "Prince of Queanbeyan" by Matt Giteau back in 2011, Coleman is a former Sevens star who began his Brumbies career at inside centre before moving out wide.

He's keen to build on the Brumbies' momentum for the grand final re-match after last week's seven-try hammering of the Force.

"It was tough watching the boys play so well last week and not being a part of it," Coleman said.

His inclusion means Tomane will spend his second straight week on the bench after missing eight weeks of rugby with a fractured cheekbone.

Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham admitted it was a difficult decision. "Robbie was sort of the incumbent. So he deserves a spot," Larkham said.

Larkham is also hoping that by keeping Wallabies Pat McCabe and Tomane on the bench, the Brumbies will be able to deliver the same late impact that the Chiefs blitzed them with in last year's Super Rugby final.

Down by 10 points with 15 minutes to play, the Chiefs bench was pivotal in their two late tries to steal the game 27-22.

"We're expecting a fair bit out of our bench," Larkham said.

"Last year that last 15 minutes got away from us. So we're going to use the full squad."

Rookie prop Allan Alaalatoa has been named on the bench in the only other change to the match-day 23 after an injury to JP Smith.AAP

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