The New Zeeland Herald reports that Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom will play his first match for the Brumbies in a near full-strength starting side named to face the NSW Waratahs in their final Super 14 trial match at Viking Park, Canberra on Thursday night.
The Brumbies’ forward pack is a strong unit with he return of all but two of their Wallabies Spring tourists, with hooker Stephen Moore, lock Mark Chisholm and flanker George Smith all back along with new recruit Elsom who has been named on the blindside flank to meet his former team.
Fellow Wallabies stars Matt Giteau (quad) and Ben Alexander (hand) were the only two players not considered due to injury.
The team will again be led by No 8 Stephen Hoiles who has retained the captaincy despite the presence of Elsom and former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock.
Returning Wallabies fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper will head the Brumbies’ outside backs with Andrew Smith and Pat McCabe each recovering from quad muscle injuries to take up their positions on the wings.
Head coach Andy Friend has confirmed that he regards this match as important, with the start of the Super 14 just 11 days away.
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Andrew Smith, Stirling Mortlock, Christian Lealiifano, Pat McCabe, Matt Toomua, Josh Valentine, Stephen Hoiles (capt), George Smith, Rocky Elsom, Mark Chisholm, Ben Hand, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Salesi Ma’afu. RESERVES: Huia Edmonds, John Ulugia, Justin Harrison, Mitch Chapman, Henry Vanderglas, Patrick Phibbs, Tyrone Smith, Francis Fainifo.