Giteau moves to No.12 for Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Giteau moves to No.12 for Brumbies

By Karlis Salna 24/03/2010 06:41:54 PM Comments (0)

Matt Giteau will revert to inside centre after the Brumbies were forced to reshuffle their backline in a move that could also have implications on the make-up of the Wallabies.

The Brumbies take on the Chiefs in Canberra on Friday night and are looking to get their Super 14 season back on track after stumbling to the Blues in Auckland last week.

Injuries from the bruising clash have forced a number of key changes in the forwards and backs with George Smith sidelined for a couple of weeks and in-form No.12 Christian Lealiifano possibly out for the rest of the season.

Smith, who will be replaced at openside flanker by former Australian schoolboys backrower Michael Hooper, injured his shoulder last week and will miss his first match for the Brumbies since their Week 11 encounter against the Chiefs in 2005.

But it is Giteau's switch to inside centre that will be most keenly watched.

Giteau played at inside centre after Lealiifano came off in the closing stages of last week's match and has played in the position for the Wallabies.

While it's not his preferred position, moving Giteau from five-eighth to inside centre could be the spark the misfiring Brumbies backline needs.

The Wallabies No.10 will play outside Matt Toomua who comes into the starting side for the first time this season.

But with the Brumbies being a side that likes to play with options either side of the ruck, coach Andy Friend said Giteau would still be heavily involved in calling the shots in attack.

"As we've been doing throughout the course of the year, we've been mixing it up at first receiver depending on the play we want to play, so that hasn't changed at all," Friend said.

"Instead of wearing the No.10 jersey he's wearing the No.12 jersey."

He will partner veteran Stirling Mortlock in the midfield, whose return from a one-week lay off after injuring his shoulder and neck against the Sharks offers some extra sting in attack and defence.

Friend said Toomua was the obvious choice at five-eighth after impressing in the role at the end of last season.

"I thought when he came on the other day, as he did in the Force game, he showed he's a young bloke with a lot of potential," Friend said.

"He did well for us at the end of last year when injuries happened and I thought he was the obvious man to come in there."

The Brumbies have made a number of other changes with Mitchell Chapman replacing Mark Chisholm at lock, while former Wallabies utility back Julian Huxley has been named on the bench and is set to make his return to professional rugby after a two-year absence.

Huxley was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour two years ago just days after collapsing and convulsing on the field following a head knock in a Super 14 match against the Reds.

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