Gerrard out of Bulls battle brings you the latest from Australia’s Super 14 franchises.

Gerrard out of Bulls battle

Brumbies fullback Mark Gerrard has been ruled out of their match against the Bulls with a hamstring injury.

Gerrard was crucial in his team’s victory over the Stormers last week with his precision kicking telling in a tight contest. His omission has not only robbed his team of their best tactical kicker, but has also led to a reshuffle in the backs.

Gerrard’s injury has forced Stirling Mortlock to move to the wing, while Tyrone Smith has also had to shift out one to No 13 for the match in Canberra on Friday.

Gene Fairbanks slots in at inside centre.

Brumbies – 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Stirling Mortlock, 13 Tyrone Smith, 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joshua Holmes; 8 Stephen Hoiles (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Mitchell Chapman, 5 Peter Kimlin, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Subs: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Julian Salvi, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Matt Toomua, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Shepherd back for Force

Wing Cameron Shepherd has returned for the Force’s Aussie derby against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

Shepherd has been ruled out for three weeks with injury and he replaces Nick Cummins, who has a hairline fracture in his lower leg.

Former Australia U20 lock Sam Wykes ousts Tom Hockings, while James O’Connor comes in for the injured Junior Pelesasa at 12.

Western Force – 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Scott Staniforth, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 James O’Connor, 11 Cameron Shepherd, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Pek Cowan. Subs: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 AJ Whalley, 18 Tom Hockings, 19 Tamaiti Horua, 20 Chris O’Young, 21 Josh Tatupu, 22 Haig Sare.