Alexander set for early Brumbies return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Alexander set for early Brumbies return

By Adrian Warren 05/02/2010 07:50:55 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies are set to receive a timely boost to their front row stocks, with Wallabies prop Ben Alexander to return from injury for next week's opening Super 14 clash with the Force in Perth.

Alexander, who was a revelation in the unfamiliar role of tighthead prop on the Wallabies' Spring tour late last year, broke a hand in a training accident with the Brumbies five weeks ago.

He was originally expected to return to action for the Brumbies' second-round match against South Africa's Bulls in Pretoria.

However, Brumbies coach Andy Friend said the 25-year-old prop was "good to go now".

"We've just got to be a little bit careful with him next week with contact, but he should be right to play."

Alexander's return will add quality to a Brumbies scrum that struggled in their final trial match against the Waratahs in Canberra on Thursday.

NSW prevailed 15-7 and Friend admitted Waratahs loosehead Benn (Benn) Robinson did "a bit of a number on us".

The second season coach conceded the Brumbies had some work to do on their set pieces following Thursday night's performance.

"We got shown up there and some of the forward battles we were beaten in those too, so we need to fix those things up," Friend said.

He was still unsure whether Matt Giteau (quad) would be fit to face his former club in Perth, describing the playmaker's status "still touch and go, day by day".

However, he was more confident about the availability of their other prize recruit, Wallabies captain and flanker Rocky Elsom.

The powerful back rower, who like Giteau missed both Brumbies trials, has a hamstring niggle, but Friend expects him to be fine to face the Force.

Wingers Andrew Smith and Pat McCabe are also striving to be fit for round one after each missed the Waratahs clash with a quad problem.

The Waratahs reported no new injury issues following the match in Canberra.

Centre Rob Horne, who has missed all three of their trials with a hamstring injury, remains in doubt for their opening competition game against Queensland in Brisbane.

However, outside back and recruit Drew Mitchell is expected to make his NSW debut against the Reds after sitting out the Brumbies match with a hamstring niggle.

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