Wallabies may bench Rathbone - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies may bench Rathbone

By Adrian Warren 14/06/2004 11:02:20 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies rookie Clyde Rathbone may find himself on the bench for Saturday's second rugby Test against Scotland with a fit Stirling Mortlock ready to resume his role in the centres.

After playing outside centre in the 35-15 victory over Scotland in Melbourne, Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said Rathbone was under consideration for a spot on the wing.

Established outside centre Mortlock, who hasn't played since suffering a medial ligament knee injury in a Super 12 semi-final a month ago, was cleared to resume training along with his Brumbies teammate Mark Gerrard.

A fit Mortlock would be expected to reclaim the No.13 jersey from Rathbone, leaving the Brumbies winger up against Gerrard and Wendell Sailor for a spot on one flank with the recently re-signed Lote Tuqiri seemingly entrenched on the other.

Uncapped winger Gerrard had his Test debut put on hold when he strained his left thigh last Sunday and was ruled out of the Melbourne Test.

Both 21-year-old Gerrard, whose sister Mo'Onia has already represented Australia at netball, and Brumbies skipper Mortlock were given the thumbs up to resume training after being examined by the Wallabies medical staff.

"Medically they are fit now, physically they are okay, so it's just a matter of how they front up at training, to be considered for selection," Jones said.

However, Jones stressed Rathbone could still remain in the starting line-up by being chosen on the wing where he excelled for the Brumbies in their triumphant Super 12 campaign.

"He (Rathbone) played very well in the Super 12 on the wing, so it's a definite possibility," Jones said.

Australia suffered no injuries in the game, but Jones hinted he might be tempted to make other changes rather than just elevate Gerrard and Mortlock into the squad for Saturday's clash at Telstra Stadium.

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