Brumbies boost a blow to Bulls

The Bulls hopes of seeing the Brumbies stumble against the Highlanders this weekend have been dealt a huge blow.

Star centres Stirling Mortlock and Matt Giteau were confirmed as definite starters for the Brumbies as they aim to cement their spot in the top four.

The Bulls need the Brumbies to lose at least once, while they must defeat the Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night and then travel to Cape Town for a crunch encounter against the Stormers at Newlands.

Mortlock, who has been battling a shoulder injury, and Giteau, suffering from chronic knee soreness, both pulled up fine on Wednesday after completing Brumbies training on Tuesday.

The all-clear for Mortlock and Giteau leaves only flyhalf Gene Fairbanks in doubt for a game the Brumbies must win to remain on track for a fifth finals appearance in six years.

The Brumbies seem to be hitting form at just the right time and are favourites to get a win over the under-performing Highlandrs outfit. They then face a potentially tricky last round game against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

While victory for the fourth-placed Brumbies over the Highlanders would keep alive their hopes of a home final, defeat would leave the two-time Super 12 champions vulnerable to falling behind the fifth-placed Bulls heading into the last round before the playoffs.