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Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Super 14: Brumbies' strength is rebuilding


The Brumbies will welcome back four more Wallabies for this Thursday's intra squad trial, while rehabilitating stars Matt Giteau and Jeremy Paul will be rested ahead of next week's Super 14 season opener against the Western Force in Perth.

Fly-half Stephen Larkham, Clyde Rathbone, George Gregan and Radike Samo will partake in their first full contact session for the 2006 pre-season when the squad is split for an internal match Thursday at Viking Park, Tuggeranong.

The match, which will be played in the mould of a full contact opposed training session, will be played over a duration of forty-five minutes (in three fifteen-minute thirds).

"Its more of a glorified training session than a trial match," said Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher.

"It gives us a chance to work on a few plays and set up a few game scenarios to work on some of the things we have put in place during the pre-season," he said.

Inside centre Matt Giteau and hooker Jeremy Paul will be rested from the match in a bid to reach full fitness for the Super 14 opener.

"I'm still very positive about my chances of playing in the first game, but the medical staff have decided that rather than risking getting a bump [on the knee] Thursday and setting myself back a week, I'm better off continuing with strength work to make sure it's 100 percent for next week," said Giteau.

Paul, who strained his right calf at training last week, will be given until next week to prove his fitness for the first round of the inaugural Super 14 competition.

"At the moment it appears that Giteau and Paul are on track to play in Perth and the rest of the squad is now into full training," said Fisher.

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