Waratahs wait on injured duo

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Waratahs wait on injured duo

Wycliff Palu and Tatafu Polota-Nau are doubtful starters for Friday’s clash with the Brumbies.

Palu has a fractured hand and will visit a specialist on Tuesday to determine his availability. Polota-Nau will undergo a neurological test after suffering concussion in the Tahs’ victory over the Reds last week.

If the pair fail their respective tests, Palu will be replaced by Ben Mowen at No 8 while Adam Freier will start at hooker.

Phibbs relishing scrumhalf duel

Brumbies scrumhalf Patrick Phibbs is eagerly anticipating his battle with Luke Burgess when his side face the Waratahs in Canberra this Friday.

Phibbs has intimate knowledge of Burgess’s strengths and weaknesses, with Burgess having played for the Brumbies before joining the Waratahs at the end of 2007, and the 27-year-old plans to use it.

Phibbs, who was ranked above Burgess as George Gregan’s understudy at the Brumbies, has made great progress this season and has started in all three rounds for the franchise.

Phibbs, who started in nine of the Brumbies’ 13 games last year after fending off the challenge of Josh Holmes, says he will savor Friday night’s tussle with Burgess.

“I don’t want to give too much away … I want to hold it for the game,” said Phibbs. “But I’ll definitely have a little word to ‘Burgo’, say hello, see how he has been going.”

Phibbs believes that having seen Burgess under pressure as a teammate will come in handy.

“Training with someone for three years you tend to know their strengths and weaknesses. But that can also work against you. I’m sure he’ll know all mine,” he said.

“It is a matter of watching the last few games and seeing where you can break them down and work on some of your strengths around them.

“In these interstate battles, everyone is trying to get the wood on the other player. These are the games you really want to perform in, but you also have to look at the performance as a whole.”

Humphies out, Holmes a doubt

Lock Van Humphies will miss the Queensland Reds’ match against the Sharks this weekend with a shoulder injury while prop Greg Holmes may be rested.

Humphries suffered an injury to his AC joint which forced him from the field nine minutes in to the second-half of the Reds’ 11-15 loss to the Waratahs last Friday.

Meanwhile, coach Phil Mooney said Holmes has a shoulder injury at the base of the neck, which will probably require some recovery time.

“Greg has played every minute of our four games to date, so we’ll probably opt to leave him out for this game so he has this weekend and then the bye a week later to rest and get himself right,” said Mooney.

Mooney will officially name his starting line up on Wednesday.

This thread will be updated throughout the day.