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Brumbies still chasing dream signatures

By Karlis Salna 26/05/2009 07:07:13 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies are set to put together what would be a Super rugby dream team by signing Rocky Elsom and James O'Connor as the last two players on their roster.

With the Brumbies expected to finalise contracts with a number of existing players shortly, just two spots will still be up for grabs in the Brumbies' 2010 roster, including one in the backline and another in the back row.

Those two spots have been reserved for Elsom and O'Connor.

While Elsom is rumoured to have agreed to terms, Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said a deal had not yet been finalised.

"He's obviously moving a little closer to making a decision ... he knows what our position is," Fagan said on Tuesday.

"He's over here next week, obviously coming to play in that (Barbarians) game and I would suggest it may not be until then, that he wouldn't make a decision until he's actually in the country."

"There's no scheduled meeting at this stage."

O'Connor is expected to make a decision within the next two weeks but is tipped to follow Matt Giteau and Josh Valentine to Canberra.

"We've spoken to his manager a few times and he's indicated to us he's probably a few weeks away from making a decision," Fagan said.

"We're comfortable with that and said we'd let him know if we needed an answer because of other discussions but we're not at that point yet."

The addition of Elsom and O'Connor, as well as Giteau, to a roster that already includes Wallabies Stirling Mortlock, George Smith and Stephen Moore, would go a long way to cementing the Brumbies as Australia's strongest provincial team.

"They're obviously weighing up what options are available to them and they'll make the decision in their time," Fagan said.

The signings would take the Brumbies squad to 31 and closer to their target of 30 which they have to meet by the end of next season under Australian Rugby Union guidelines.

The 31st position, however, belongs to Julian Huxley whose playing future remains uncertain after he underwent brain surgery last year to remove a tumour.

"We're on target to be at 30 or 31," Fagan said.

He said a final decision on Huxley's future was yet to be made.

"We just really need to sit down - and we haven't got a scheduled time - with some people from the ARU and Julian's management to talk through where we are at and what he needs to do in order to gain the necessary approvals to resume playing.

"I imagine we'll sit down over the course of the next month or so and work out what needs to be done."

The existing players yet to re-sign include prop Guy Shepherdson, lock Mark Chisholm, back-rowers Mitchell Chapman and Peter Kimlin and wingers Francis Fanifo and Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Most are considered done deals but Chapman is likely to be shown the door if Elsom signs.

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