Brumbies keep stars on the sidline

ACT Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher is keeping almost all of his big names out of Friday night’s Super 14 rugby trial match against the New South Wales Waratahs in Gosford.

Wallabies prop Guy Shepherdson will run out for his first match since the Rugby World Cup alongside a host of youngsters and debutants against a powerful Waratahs contingent which includes most of their test players, reports Rugby Heaven.

Fisher did not name a starting team Tuesday, just a 27-man squad.

It features four of the six new recruits with Huia Edmonds, Mitch Chapman, Matt Toomua and Tyrone Smith all to debut for the Brumbies, plus eight members of the Brumbies’ academy, including 2007 Australian Schoolboys Afusipa Taumoepeau and Talalelei Gray.

Former Queensland backrow regular Chapman said the Brumbies were following a tried and proven formula. “Over the years the Brumbies’ trial form has generally counted for little during the regular season and we see this as a good opportunity, particularly a lot of the younger guys, to have a good hit out at this level before the season begins,” Chapman said.

With one further trial remaining against the Hurricanes on February 8 before a daunting Super 14 opener against the Crusaders in Christchurch on February 15, Fisher made no apologies for resting the likes of captain George Smith, Stephen Hoiles and backline stars Mark Gerrard, Julian Huxley, Clyde Rathbone and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

“There’s plenty well be looking to get out of the trial but these things are not necessarily results-based,” Fisher said. “We’re more interested in the process rather than the outcome on the scoreboard.

“For us, Friday is about working on our basics, getting an indication of our fitness and gauging where our effort areas and communication are at.

“It’s also an excellent opportunity for a lot of the players to get some additional time playing under the new ELVs ahead of the start of the season.”

ACT Brumbies squad:

Nic Henderson, Ben Alexander, Guy Shepherdson, Salesi Maafu, John Ulugia, Huia Edmonds, Peter Kimlin, Dan Guinness, Alister Campbell, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Richard Stanford, Mitch Chapman, Talalelei Gray, Pauliasi Taumoepeau, Jone Tawake

Patrick Phibbs, Nick Haydon, Christian Lealiifano, Matt Toomua, Tim Cornforth, Francis Fainifo, Peter Playford, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Anthony Faingaa, Tyrone Smith, Rowan Kellam, Leo Afeaki.


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