Gerrard ruled out of Brumbies side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gerrard ruled out of Brumbies side

By Karlis Salna 05/05/2009 08:37:25 PM Comments (0)

Brumbies fullback Mark Gerrard appears to have played his last game of Super 14 rugby after aggravating a hamstring injury which will see him ruled out for the rest of the season.

Gerrard will have a scan on Wednesday but it's thought he will be out of action for at least five weeks.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend conceded it would be highly unlikely Gerrard would return to the side regardless of whether or not they make the Super 14 finals.

"Given there's four more games we'd be unlikely to see him again," Friend said.

The former Wallabies fullback has signed with Japanese second division club NTT Communications after a stellar rugby career in Australia which includes 23 Test caps.

Gerrard has earned 80 Super rugby caps and is third on the Brumbies list of all-time point scorers with 306 points, behind Stirling Mortlock (982) and Joe Roff (590).

He made his Super debut with the Waratahs in 2002 and moved to the Brumbies the following year.

He helped the Brumbies to their Super 12 title in 2004 with a three-try haul against the Crusaders in the final.

The loss of Gerrard will see fellow Wallaby Adam Ashley-Cooper move to fullback while Francis Fainifo returns to the starting line-up to take up the right wing position.

Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock will remain on the left wing for the clash with the Blues.

Mortlock is just eight points shy of the Super rugby all-time point scoring record of 990 points held by Crusaders five-eighth Andrew Mehrtens and could easily break it before his home crowd at Canberra Stadium.

The Brumbies pack regains tighthead prop Guy Shepherdson who returns from a two week suspension.

Coming off a 52-13 win over the Reds last weekend, the Brumbies can move into the top four with a win over the Blues if other results go their way.

Friend said Saturday's match will be a critical encounter for both the sides as they vie for a semi-finals berth.

"Last weekend's performance against the Reds was unquestionably an improved one from the week before but we haven't dwelled too much on it," Friend said.

"We've been quick to move our focus onto the Blues, who, like us, will be playing to keep their season alive."

"Both sides have shown a desire to play an open brand of rugby but given that they've scored seven bonus-point wins, we'll also need to ensure that our defence is in check as it was against the Reds."

The Brumbies are yet to name their bench due to a number of players remaining in doubt through injury.

Brumbies: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Francis Fainifo, Tyrone Smith, Gene Fairbanks, Stirling Mortlock, Matt Toomua, Patrick Phibbs, Stephen Hoiles (capt), George Smith, Mitchell Chapman, Peter Kimlin, Ben Hand, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Res: TBA.

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