Gerrard gets his chance for Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gerrard gets his chance for Brumbies

27/02/2003 12:23:20 PM Comments (0)

Young recruit Mark Gerrard will get his first Super 12 rugby union starting cap for the ACT Brumbies in their clash with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Gerrard, 20, replaces winger Mark Bartholomeusz, who has returned to Australia following the death of his wife's mother, in the only change to the side which beat Queensland 22-19 at the weekend.

It's a long-awaited promotion for Gerrard who was signed in the off-season after leaving the NSW Waratahs, who gave him only one game off the bench in 2001 over two seasons.

The only other change is the return of centre Joel Wilson to the Brumbies bench after recovering from a recent hamstring injury.

Last year's finalists weren't at their best last weekend in downing the Reds in terrible conditions at Ballymore but six goals from as many attempts by Stirling Mortlock ensured the victory.

The South African leg of the Super 12 season has been a successful one for the Brumbies in recent years, winning five of their last six matches there.

The Sharks were soundly beaten 40-18 by the Stormers in round one in Cape Town but they have never lost to the Brumbies in the three occasions they have met on South African soil.

Brumbies coach said he'd been impressed by Gerrard, a former Australian schoolboys representative, since his arrival.

"Mark has really progressed as a footballer since joining the Brumbies this season," Nucifora said.

"He is a powerful runner with the ball in hand (and) a strong defender."

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