Aussie wrap (Thurs)

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from Australia’s franchises.

Stirling to miss Sharks match

Brumbies captain Stirling Mortlock will miss the Sharks game after taking a knock to the head.

This will be some good news for the Sharks, but the Brumbies still have a threat at 13 who will attack Frans Steyn’s channel in Wallaby utility-back Adam Ashley-Cooper. This is Ashley-Cooper’s third position in as many weeks, but he is looking forward to running in his preferred position.

“It’s disappointing to lose Stirlo,” Ashley-Cooper told AAP.

“In saying that, we’ve played without him through the first half of the competition, so this isn’t a new obstacle for us. We realise what a challenge we’re in for on Saturday. The Sharks have quality players across the field from one through to 22 and if we don’t turn up to play then they will make us pay,” he said.

Brumbies – 15 Mark Gerrard, 14 Peter Playford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tyrone Smith, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 8 Julian Salvi, 7 George Smith (capt), 6 Mitchell Chapman, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Nic Henderson. Subs: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Peter Kimlin, 19 Stephen Hoiles, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Matt Toomua, 22 Sanualio Afeaki, 23 Ben Alexander (one to be omitted).

Tahs keep unchanged team

The Waratahs have named an unchanged 22 for their match against the Lions in Sydney.

Coach Ewen McKenzie has meanwhile also warned against taking the bottom-placed Lions too lightly. McKenzie realises that the Tahs need to take full advantage of their second last home game if they are to retain their current semi-final position.

“Everyone’s talking about lots of points against the Lions but we’re expecting a really hard match and we’re not taking anything for granted,” McKenzie told AAP.

“Yet again we’ve had a week of rain in Sydney so that’s another factor which will add to the toughness of the match.

“The guys have prepared themselves really well physically and mentally for this match, and knowing our last three games are away from home it makes these next couple of games all the more important,” said McKenzie.

Waratahs – 15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (capt), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Dan Vickerman, 4 Will Caldwell, 3 Matt Dunning, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson. Subs: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Al Baxter, 18 David Lyons, 19 Beau Robinson, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Matt Carraro, 22 Alfi Mafi.