Fisher reverts to five-forward Brumbies bench for Chiefs clash




CA Brumbies Head Coach Laurie Fisher has today named his team for Saturday’s Tooheys New Super 14 Week Seven clash with the Chiefs at Canberra Stadium.

For the second time this season, the Brumbies will carry five forwards on their reserves bench, preparing for a physical encounter with the in-form Chiefs.

Fisher has re-called powerful lock Radike Samo to the reserves bench, while hooker Jeremy Paul will be eased into his return to Super 14 action as back-up to James McCormack at hooker.

Paul has overcome a calf injury which has had him sidelined for the past five matches, while centre Matt Giteau has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with bone bruising to his knee.

Gene Fairbanks has recovered from a slight strain of his medial ligament, suffered during last week’s eleven-point loss to the Blues in Auckland. He will start the match at inside centre.

Versatile lock Adam Wallace-Harrison receives an opportunity at blindside flanker, while regular No.6 Daniel Heenan will play from the reserves bench for the first time this season.

Fisher has continued to rotate his front row with Guy Shepherdson coming in at tighthead prop, while Nic Henderson returns to the reserves bench.

Australian Under 21 star Julian Salvi earns his second start for the 2006 season at openside flanker with George Smith switching to number 8, where he has not played since the Brumbies’ season-opener against the Western Force in Perth.

Fisher said that the rotation of forwards had allowed him to keep players fresh through the first seven rounds of the competition.

“We’re in week seven now and some guys have played a lot and others guys haven’t had as much time on the field. We’ve got a lot of depth in our forwards and we’ve been able to get the best out of them by sharing the game-time around,” he said.

“We’ve been getting a great value-add from our bench late in games and I think that’s really helped us get the most out of the talent we have in our forwards.”

Fisher has decided to rest Australian Commonwealth Games star Giteau, despite the fact that he waits for results of an MRI scan on his injured knee.

“We’ve taken the conservative approach with Matt and decided not to play him this Saturday,” said the second-year Brumbies Coach.

“Even if the results (of the MRI) were positive, I still think there would be an issue with his confidence with the injury.”

“We’ve got a bye next week, so he’ll have an opportunity to rest up for a week and hopefully nothing sinister will show up in the MRI.”

Fisher had targeted his lineout this week following the Brumbies first defeat of the season at Eden Park last Saturday.

“I thought overall we scrummaged very well against the Blues, we just fell down in some small areas in the lineout which opened up the turnover opportunities for the Blues.”

“We just need to clean up a few areas in the lineout and start executing better in that area.”

The match kicks off at the special afternoon time of 4.30pm this Saturday (25 March) at Canberra Stadium.

15 Adam Ashley-Cooper
14 Clyde Rathbone
13 Stirling Mortlock (c)
12 Gene Fairbanks
11 Mark Gerrard
10 Stephen Larkham
9 George Gregan
8 George Smith
7 Julian Salvi
6 Adam Wallace-Harrison
5 Mark Chisholm
4 Alister Campbell
3 Guy Shepherdson
2 James McCormack
1 Bill Young.

Reserves: 16 Jeremy Paul, 17 Nic Henderson, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Jone Tawake, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Daniel Heenan ,22 Joel Wilson.


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