Bernie’s 100th in the bull ring

Bernie Larkham will play his 100th match for the Brumbies in the expanded Vodacom Super 14, formerly the Super 12.

Larkham has been named at flyhalf for Friday’s match against the Bulls, with coach Laurie Fisher beefing up his pack by starting with former Australian under 21 loose-forward Jono Tawake at No 8.

The Brumbies, two seasons ago, were beaten by the Bulls in a match marred by weather and last year only just scraped past the Bulls in Canberra.

Tawake’s selection means George Smith will play as an opensider again.

Tawake and hooker David Palavi are the only changes in the starting XV to that which beat the Force in round one. Veteran Wallabies hooker Jeremy Paul is injured and was not considered for selection.

in the starting team at hooker, to replace the injured Jeremy Paul.

Larkham, who made his debut in the inaugural match for the Brumbies (at outside centre) against Transvaal in 1996, is the second Brumby to reach the milestone, with George Gregan’s 112 matches the most ever played by a Brumby.

Fisher has named 11 former and current Wallabies in his starting XV.

Brumbies (to play Bulls): 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Stirling Mortlock (captain), 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Mark Gerrard, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 George Gregan, 8 Jone Tawake, 7 George Smith, 6 Daniel Heenan, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Nic Henderson, 2 David Palavi, 1 Bill Young. Subs: 16 James McCormack, 17 Guy Shepherdson, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Julian Salvi, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Gene Fairbanks, 22 Joel Wilson