Brumbies replace Mortlock, Campbell

Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper and flanker Julian Salvi will return to the Brumbies’ starting line-up for their Super 14 clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.

Ashley-Cooper has been selected at outside centre after captain Stirling Mortlock was ruled out on Tuesday. Mortlock was still suffering neck soreness and a bruised jaw as a result of a high tackle from Reds centre Lloyd Johansson last weekend.

Salvi also returns, whilst Adam Wallace-Harrison shifts from flank to lock in the place of injured Alister Campbell.

“Stirlo [Mortlock] still had some stiffness in his neck and jaw, and we didn’t believe there was any need to risk him at this stage of the season,” Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher said.

“But we were hoping to give Adam some more game time anyway. He started for us against the Blues, he’s a very powerful runner and it’s always a nice situation when you can replace one Wallaby with another.”

Salvi, who missed his side’s last round match against the Reds due to a low-grade medial strain, returns at blindside flanker alongside George Smith, who will captain the Brumbies for the first time on Friday.

Smith says Salvi is an integral member in the back row.

“We know how useful Jules is at the breakdown but he’s adapted very well to the lineout,” he said.

“Having another mobile back-rower gives us another option to contest the breakdown. I think the combination that we’ve got with Jules, Hoilesy [Stephen Hoiles] and myself has worked well and it’s a good opportunity for us to test ourselves against a very physical a Hurricanes side.”

Fisher says Salvi’s return will be a welcome one for his side.

“[Julian] was fantastic for us in the first two rounds,” he said. “We missed his speed at the breakdown and hardness at the ball on the weekend [against the Reds] with a couple of turnovers. So it’s good for him and good for us that we can get him back into the side to play the Hurricanes.”

Meanwhile, front-rower John Ulugia is set to add to his single Super 14 cap – earned last year against the Cheetahs – after being named as a replacement for Friday’s match. Outside back Tim Wright has also been recalled to the Brumbies’ bench after making his debut in Round One against the Chiefs.

Brumbies: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 Mark Gerrard, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 George Gregan, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 George Smith, 6 Julian Salvi, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Richard Stanford, 19 Jone Tawake, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Matt Carraro, 22 Tim Wright

Venue: Westpac Trust Stadium, Wellington
Date: 23 February 2007
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)

365 Digital

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