Brumbies skipper Stirling Mortlock has been cleared to return from injury in Friday night’s Super 14 clash with the Lions at Canberra Stadium.
RugbyHeaven Aus reports that Mortlock is one of two changes to the Brumbies’ starting XV which upset the previously-unbeaten Sharks 27-21 on the weekend.
The Wallabies captain returns from a head knock to take his place at outside centre, forcing in-form Test teammate Adam Ashley-Cooper to revert to the wing.
Francis Fainifo has kept his place on the left wing with Peter Playford dumped from the squad.
In a minor surprise, hooker John Ulugia has replaced fellow youngster Saia Fiangaa in the front-row as coach Laurie Fisher searches for more consistency in his set piece.
Proud coach Fisher wants his team to maintain their first-rate attitude in their final home match for 2008 before their tour of South Africa.
“It has been pleasing to see the attitude and self belief that the side has approached the last two matches with,” he said.
“There have been a lot of pleasing aspects from our last two performances and its very important that we continue to build on that confidence and take our game forward over the final four rounds of the competition.”
Brumbies: Mark Gerrard, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Tyrone Smith, Francis Fainifo, Christian Lealiifano, Patrick Phibbs; Julian Salvi, George Smith, Mitchell Chapman, Mark Chisholm, Alister Campbell, Guy Shepherdson, John Ulugia, Nic Henderson.
Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Salesi Maafu, Peter Kimlin, Ben Alexander, Stephen Hoiles, Josh Holmes, Sanualio Afeaki.