Mortlock out of Sharks clash

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Mortlock out of Sharks clash

The Brumbies inspirational centre Stirling Mortlock has been ruled out of Saturday’s match against the Sharks in Durban.

The Wallabies captain corked his leg in last week’s defeat to the Lions and failed to complete training on Thursday.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend has opted to start Gene Fairbanks at inside centre, with Tyrone Smith replacing Mortlock at outside centre.

Coach Friend on Friday said the Brumbies were bracing for a bruising and frenetic encounter against the second-placed Sharks.

‘Everything they do, they do it at real pace and real purpose,’ said Friend. ‘They run hard, they tackle hard, they clean out hard and they scrummage and lineout hard.

‘So it’s going to be a very torrid affair. And given that they’re just back from tour and in front of their home crowd, they’re going to want to please them and show the form they showed on their road trip wasn’t a fluke.’

Halangahu to follow Larkham’s lead

Waratahs flyhalf Daniel Halangahu says working under Stephen Larkham during his formative years at the Brumbies will soon start to pay dividends.

According to Halangahu he does share one asset with the former Wallabies legend – that being Larkham’s calm demeanour off the field. Any other similarities, the 25-year-old adds, he has simply picked up from trying to emulate the 102-Test great.

Just how much of Larkham’s game has rubbed off on Halangahu, who joined the Waratahs in 2005, should be revealed on Friday against the Blues at Eden Park.

Halangahu, who has been promoted to the starting line up at the expense of Kurtley Beale, has been reflecting on the impact Larkham had had on him.

‘There’s a lot to pick up from a guy like Steve. He can do it all. The way he runs a game … he does have it all,’ said Halangahu. ‘But he is also a quiet personality. He is a bit similar to myself. He’s quiet, not a very dominant personality, but once he steps across that white line, he owns the team.

‘That is one thing I tried to learn from him. There were a lot of things I tried to learn from him, but whether you get them or not is a different story.’

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