McCabe back to boost Brumbies

RICHARD FERGUSON updates followers of the latest Super Rugby news from Australia

McCabe back for Brumbies

Pat McCabe should be ready to join the Brumbies on their two game tour of South Africa, where they face the Sharks and the Stormers in a tough tour.

McCabe fractured his neck in the Wallabies’ End of year Tour to Europe in November, and is still on the comeback trial. The utility back has started training with the team, but will run out for the ACT XV against Tonga next week to prove his match fitness.

McCabe’s return will boost the Brumbies’ backline stocks, but the player himself is unsure where he fit into the winning team. The Brumbies have two from two and currently lie first in the Australian conference, and McCabe’s return will see him likely battle it out with outside centre Andrew Smith for a spot in the starting lineup.

McCabe has played in midfield and amongst the outside backs, and is a useful player to have in terms of shuffling the backline once a player is injured, but where exactly he will start once fully fit, remains to be seen.

Cheika keen for Smith to play

When news broke that George Smith has returned to the Brumbies to play Super Rugby after a three year absence, Waratahs coach Michael Cheika thought it good to stir the pot.

Cheika immediately commented that he wants Smith to play in the Waratahs’ match against the Brumbies next weekend. He went further to say that David Pocock should be worried, as Smith brings a completely different game to the table.

Waratahs flanker Michael Hooper looks forward to the possibility of playing against his role model and a player he trained with at the Brumbies three years ago, before Smith left for France.

Smith is said to have signed a three month contract as cover for the injured Ita Vaea, who will miss the season due to a heart condition.

Reds change two

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie made two changes to his team that beat the Waratahs, to face the Hurricanes this weekend.

After an impressive start to the season at outside centre, Aidan Toua returns to the starting fifteen at fullback, replacing Mike Harris.

The only other change comes on the bench, where Radike Samo returns from injury to replace Jarrad Butler, who picked up an AC Joint injury in the victory over the Waratahs.

Quade Cooper looks set to take over the kicking duties from the benched Mike Harris, who had a decent game in terms of goal kicking against the Waratahs.

Reds: 15. Aidan Toua, 14. Dom Shipperley, 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12. Ben Tapuai, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Ben Lucas, 8. Ben Lucas, 7. Liam Gill, 6. Eddie Quirk, 5. Ed O’Donoghue, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. James Slipper (c), 2. Saia Fainga’a, 1. Greg Holmes Substitutes: 16. James Hanson, 17. Albert Anae, 18. Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19. Radike Samo, 20. Nick Frisby, 21. Mike Harris, 22. Luke Morahan