Brumbies to fill gap vs Force in rugby
Brumbies back Andrew Smith says Joe Tomane’s ankle injury opens the door to any one of three potential replacements on the wing ahead of their clash with Western Force.
Tomane, a convert from rugby league, was injured in training with the Wallabies early this month, cutting short his representative stint and potentially ruling him out for the remaining three Super Rugby games of the season.
Smith said it was a big loss to the Brumbies in the sprint towards the finals, but was confident there was depth in the squad to cover for his absence.
Coach Jake White could easily bring Robbie Coleman back in at fullback, moving Jesse Mogg to the wing, but if he wants a straight-up replacement for Tomane, Smith said there were several choices.
“We saw a few guys play against Wales in the mid-week game (on June 12) and they went really well, so we’ve got no doubt they’ll slip in pretty well,” the outside centre said.
“There’s a few good guys there – there’s Cam Crawford, who’s been playing really well, Tom Cox took his opportunities and Kimami as well is the other winger … whoever steps in will do the job.”
The Brumbies welcomed back eight Wallaby squad members at training on Monday, their first session back together since the international break.
Despite fears of how the three-week window will affect the Brumbies’ run home – with three games to play, two away against the Force and the Rebels before hosting the Blues in Canberra – Smith said there were positives.
“We’ve enjoyed the time away from footy – it’s time to freshen up.
“During the break, (intensity) dropped off a bit … but now all the guys are back in, we spoke about that – that as soon as we step onto the training field, we’ve got to step it up.
“And that intensity’s got to be right back up there.”
The Brumbies enjoyed a 19-17 victory over the Force to open their Super Rugby campaign back in February, although the Force will be playing for pride on Saturday and to give retiring lock Nathan Sharpe a good send-off in his last home game.© AAP 2013
Wallabes vs Wales - Scott Allen's match highlights -