Giteau still doubtful for Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Giteau still doubtful for Brumbies

09/02/2010 07:21:44 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies will throw a Test-strength pack at the Western Force in their opening Super 14 rugby clash on Friday, but five-eighth Matt Giteau remains in doubt.

Andy Friend announced a full-strength team containing 12 Test representatives, including the entire pack, with wingers Francis Fainifo and Pat McCabe and centre Christian Lealiifano the only players yet to earn Wallaby status.

Giteau, who has moved across from the Force, is still battling to overcome the quad injury which prevented him playing any trials.

"We will look at him tomorrow at training. If it looks like he's no chance, then we will probably make a call then, but if he's still a chance we will probably give him another day," Friend told reporters on Tuesday.

"We certainly won't push him, if he's not right, we're not going to force him to get out there."

Young five-eighth Matt Toomua was bracketed with Giteau.

If Giteau is fit, Toomua will drop out of the 22, with Giteau and inside centre Christian Lealiifano giving the Brumbies dual playmakers.

New halfback Josh Valentine will complete the set of representing all four Australian Super franchises when he turns out against his previous employer.

Wallabies captain and blindside flanker Rocky Elsom has been named to make his Brumbies debut after missing the trials with a hamstring niggle.

Australian under 19 representative McCabe, who has recovered from a quad strain, will make his Super debut.

In the forwards, former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison will play his first Super match for the Brumbies since 2003.

Friend said it had been tough to exclude lock Ben Hand, but the Brumbies needed their best lineout forward and controller to play following problems in that area in their final trial against the Waratahs.

"The bloke who has got the most experience of fixing the lineout is Justin Harrison," Friend said.

He was wary of the Force, who he labelled a bogey team following victories in their last two Super clashes over the Brumbies.

Wallabies prop Ben Alexander was rushed into the team despite not playing in the trials due to a broken hand.

Alexander, who will switch back from his Test position of tighthead to loosehead, wasn't concerned about the lack of match fitness for Elsom, Giteau and himself.

"Those guys (Elsom and Giteau) are tremendously naturally fit, they are still topping the fitness testing, even though they haven't been playing," Alexander told reporters.

"Off-field fitness-wise running and stuff, I am setting personal bests, so I'm happy with that."

While the Brumbies scrum struggled against the Waratahs in their final trial, Alexander said the technical errors were easily fixed and he wasn't at all worried.

Friend and Alexander both felt the Brumbies could set up their season by winning at least two of their first three games on the road against the Force, Bulls and Stormers.

"If we win two or three of those games it really puts us in a good spot with only a couple of trips to New Zealand for the rest of the year," Alexander said.

Brumbies: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Pat McCabe, Stirling Mortlock, Christian Lealiifano, Francis Fainifo, Matt Giteau/Matt Toomua, Josh Valentine, Stephen Hoiles (capt), George Smith, Rocky Elsom, Justin Harrison, Mark Chisholm, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Res: Huia Edmonds, Salesi Maafu, Ben Hand, Mitchell Chapman, Patrick Phibbs, Tyrone Smith, Alfi Mafi, Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news