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Brumbies won’t rush Tomane back to Super Rugby

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Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham says that he is happy with their Super Rugby depth at wing so their is no need to rush Joe Tomane back.

The Brumbies are in a battle for the top of the Australian Super Rugby Conference with the Waratahs and face a trip to Auckland this weekend to face the Blues.

Wallabies winger Tomane has not played for the Brumbies since April 24 due to a knee injury and the Canberra side are without Henry Speight who is away on sevens duty.

In Tomane and Speight’s absence the Brumbies have used James Dargaville and Nigel Ah Wong while Andrew Smith has finally returned from a niggling foot injury.

The Brumbies beat the Reds on the weekend brought Lausii Taliauli came off the bench in the match.

Another option is utility back Robbie Coleman who played in the Canberra competition on Saturday.

While the Brumbies have have depth on the wing there is little doubt that a fully fit Tomane would be a boost for the Brumbies as they reach the business end of Super Rugby.

“Joey’s there or thereabouts, he trained with the boys this week. He’s still a little way off I’d say, we’re not going to rush that one,” Larkham told The Age.

“We’re going to make sure he gets back to full health before we push him out there because our wingers are doing a fantastic job.

“We had Andrew Smith come back this week … there’s a lot of confidence in Andrew.”

“James Dargaville was superb [against the Reds] with ball in hand, Nigel Ah Wong again had a really strong game, Lausii Taliauli came on and scored another try.

“There’s good depth in the wing position at the moment, these boys are doing a fantastic job.”

Larkham said that a bigger “selection headache” would be over who started at scrumhalf against the Blues.

The coach started rookie Joe Powell against the Reds but Argentina international Tomas Cubelli came off the bench and the Brumbies made a big improvement when he came on.

Cubelli had been away for a month on Test duty with the Pumas and only returned to Canberra on Tuesday. When he came on the Reds battled to contain him and he scored a try and set one up for Christian Lealiifano.

“That will be a selection headache, I thought Joe Powell was superb. That first half was really difficult, greasy conditions and we couldn’t get momentum and it certainly wasn’t Joey’s fault,” he said.

“A little bit of dropped ball here and there, we had two really long passages and it was tough for Joey to get through those passages.

“Tomas was good, that’s the beauty of Tomas’s game … he’s very good around the ruck, but equally for Joe’s first Super Rugby [start] that was pretty sharp.”

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