Larkham out, Mortlock in for Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Larkham out, Mortlock in for Brumbies

By Melissa Woods 11/03/2003 06:03:22 PM Comments (0)

ACT Brumbies coach David Nucifora breathed a sigh of relief with at least one of his Wallaby stars back for Friday night's crucial Super 12 clash with the Stormers.

Injured centre Stirling Mortlock has recovered from a shoulder injury to provide some much-needed penetration in the ACT backline, as the Brumbies look to revive their Super 12 aspirations after two successive losses.

The news wasn't so good for a weakened Stephen Larkham, who only arrived back in Canberra today after he was hospitalised with a virus in Johannesburg where ACT lost 34-32 to the Cats.

Matt Giteau will again wear Larkham's No.10 jersey at Canberra Stadium, and this time be given more than a few hours to prepare.

Larkham was ruled out on the morning of the Cats match, forcing Giteau to make a late switch from inside centre.

"The virus, combined with his jetlag and being a Friday night game, it's not going to give Steve time to be fully fit so we're comfortable going in with Gits at five-eighth," Nucifora said.

"The big plus for us is that he'll have time to prepare this week.

"It was very difficult last week, especially for a guy playing his first run-on match but I still think he did a very good job and I'm sure this week is going to be an improvement on that."

In the only other change, David Giffin has relegated fellow Wallaby lock Justin Harrison to the bench.

Giffin missed last year's Super 12 season after a shoulder reconstruction with Harrison and Dan Vickerman taking over both at Super 12 and Test level.

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