Brumbies

Sharpe given more time but named in team for Waratahs

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Emirates Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe will be given until tomorrow for medical clearance to play against the Waratahs at Subiaco Oval on Friday night.


The towering lock was hospitalised last weekend after suffering from heat stress and dehydration, caused by a viral infection, in the match against the Reds.


If Sharpe is ruled out, he will be replaced by former Queenslander and Australian U21, Pat O’Connor.


The 112kg lock performed well during the trial phase and will join John Welborn in the second row.


With powerful Number 8, Scott Fava, and in-form winger, Cameron Shepherd on Commonwealth Games duties (the latter at the direction of the ARU), Tim Davidson and Tajhon Mailata return to the 22.


Fava’s position at the back of the scrum will be filled by Super 14 rookie, Richard Brown, while versatile back, Haig Sare, comes in for Shepherd.


Former Australian U19 captain Scott Daruda returns to the starting 15, replacing Brock James at flyhalf.


Emirates Western Force head coach John Mitchell said Sharpe’s leadership qualities were well known and if he didn’t make the game, it would present an opportunity for other senior players to take on a leadership role.


He said O’Connor had performed well in the trial phase, particularly against the Cheetahs, and if he played against the Waratahs it would be an opportunity he’d relish.


‘With the majority of our squad having never played Super 14 before, we’ve always been about giving young men an opportunity to step-up,’ he said.


‘We are growing the depth of our player group.’


Mitchell described the Waratahs as well-drilled and talented, and said their victory over the Cats last weekend had been clinical.


‘It will be a tough encounter but our team won’t be lacking in commitment going into our last Super 14 Aussie derby for 2006,’ he said


If Nathan Sharpe does not play, Brendan Cannon will become captain and Scott Staniforth vice captain.


The squad is:


1. Tai McIsaac
2. Brendan Cannon (vc)
3. David Fitter
4. John Welborn
5. Nathan Sharpe (c) or (Pat O’Connor)
6. David Pusey
7. Matt Hodgson
8. Richard Brown
9. Matt Henjak
10. Scott Daruda
11. Digby Ioane
12. Scott Staniforth
13. Josh Graham
14. Haig Sare
15. James Hilgendorf


Reserves

16. Pek Cowan
17. David Te Moana
18. Luke Doherty
19. Tim Davidson
20. Chris O’Young
21. Brock James
22. Tajhon Mailata

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