Brumbies Batger in for injured Ashley-Cooper



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CA Brumbies fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper will spend up to three weeks on the sidelines after an MRI scan revealed minor ligament damage to his left ankle.

Ashley-Cooper was injured shortly after scoring his second try in as many matches during the early stages of last Friday night’s victory over the Cats at Canberra Stadium.

An MRI scan on his injured ankle yesterday has revealed a low-grade syndesmosis injury.

“He has a low grade syndesmosis injury which means he could miss up three matches,” said CA Brumbies Head Coach Laurie Fisher.

Rather than opting to re-shuffle his backline for this Saturday night’s Tooheys New Super 14 week five clash with the Sharks, Fisher has opted to bring in a recognised Number 15 to replace his in-form fullback.

“There was the option to shift  Mark Gerrard off the wing, but he’s been playing some outstanding football on the left wing so we’ve decided  to bring in a recognised fullback in Ben Batger.”

Batger started his Super 14 career in stunning fashion last season when he crossed for a try with his first touch of the ball in the Brumbies’ 3-point victory over the Stormers at Canberra Stadium.

The 21-year-old Eastwood fullback is looking forward to joining the back-line after missing out on a place in the 22-man lineup for each of the Brumbies first four matches.

“Its a fantastic opportunity for me, albeit through injury, but it’s an opportunity to finally play some rugby and to test myself at the Super 14 level again,” said Batger.

Fisher was pleased with Batger’s progress during the pre-season following his first year of professional rugby.

“He’s had the benefit of a full pre-season of training behind him and a tour with the Australian Under 21’s prior to that so he’s a far better player than he was (at this stage) last year.”

“He’s a good athlete so we certainly don’t lose much in an attacking sense by having Ben out there.”

Fisher is impressed with the combination his star-studded backline had formed so far this season.

“Our set piece has been reasonably good so far so the backs have been getting a fair bit of quality ball,”he said.

“We’ve been able to maintain a consistent lineup in the backs and they’ve been playing better as a unit each week.”

Fisher will delay naming the rest of his team until after the team’s morning training session on Thursday.

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