The CA Brumbies backline has received a mid-season boost with the return of Wallaby pair Stirling Mortlock and Adam Ashley-Cooper for their Investec Super 14 Week Eight match against the Chiefs at Canberra Stadium on Friday.
The Brumbies Media unit reports that Mortlock, who underwent shoulder surgery following the Rugby World Cup, returns to his customary outside centre position for his 100th Super Rugby cap.
Ashley-Cooper makes his first appearance since sustaining a syndesmosis injury in his right ankle in the CA Brumbies’ Week One match against the Crusaders.
The explosive utility back will replace Mark Gerrard at fullback after the goal-kicking flyer was ruled out due to a hamstring strain suffered against the Chiefs a fortnight ago.
CA Brumbies Head Coach Laurie Fisher says he’s pleased to welcome the experience of Mortlock and Ashley-Cooper back into the backline.
“It’s pleasing to have these players returning from injury and it’s no secret that you’d rather have your Wallabies on the field than on the sideline,” he said. “Both Stirling and Coopy are strong ball runners, they are very direct with the football and they’ll give us a few more attacking options.”
Scrumhalf Patrick Phibbs replaces Joshua Holmes in the only other change to the starting backline.
The CA Brumbies forward pack has received a reshuffle with Alister Campbell and Guy Shepherdson promoted to the run-on side after making their comebacks from injury off the bench against the Cheetahs.
Shepherdson and No.8 Stephen Hoiles will play their 50th Super Rugby match on Friday night.
Hooker John Ulugia receives his first run-on start for 2008 after Huia Edmonds was ruled out for the remainder of the season after fracturing his forearm during training on Monday.
CA Brumbies: 1.Nic Henderson, 2.John Ulugia, 3.Guy Shepherdson, 4.Alister Campbell, 5.Mark Chisholm, 6.Mitchell Chapman, 7.George Smith, 8.Stephen Hoiles, 9.Patrick Phibbs, 10.Christian Lealiifano, 11.Francis Fainifo, 12.Tyrone Smith, 13.Stirling Mortlock (c), 14.Peter Playford, 15Adam Ashley-Cooper
Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Salesi Ma’afu, Peter Kimlin, Julian Salvi, Joshua Holmes, Matt Toomua, Sanualio Afeaki.Tweet