McCabe set to return for final trial match
February 10, 2014
A successful return by McCabe would help alleviate the Brumbies backs crisis © Getty Images
Brumbies star Pat McCabe is set to return to action in the side's final trial against an ACT XV on Friday after being cleared to return from a head knock. McCabe lasted just 15 minutes in his return to rugby after seven months on the sidelines.
The Wallabies star left the field in a daze in the Brumbies opening trial against the Highlanders on January 31, his first match after a serious neck injury kept him on the sidelines for the back end of the 2013 season. The Brumbies took off the 25-year-old as a precaution and he sat out Saturday's 67-0 trial win over an ACT XV side.
Given incumbent inside centre Christian Leali'ifano isn't due back from an ankle injury until round five, a successful return by McCabe could alleviate a mini backs crisis at the Brumbies. McCabe and Japanese recruit Harumichi Tatekawa are among the contenders to win the No.12 jersey for the season-opener against the Reds on February 22.
''With Christian out for a small period of time, Pat McCabe will play next week,'' director of rugby Laurie Fisher told Rugby Heaven. ''We need to see how Pat goes, we need options.''
On top of Leali'ifano's absence, Wallabies outside centre Tevita Kuridrani is due to return from suspension in round one, but his lack of preseason game time could see him eased off the bench. Fisher also insisted that Henry Speight would be 100 per cent ready for game one, despite bruising ribs against the ACT XV.
''He was X-rayed last night and it cleared him of any damage, so it looks like just bruising,'' Fisher said. ''There's some discomfort, we're likely to rest him next week and by all accounts he'll be 100 per cent ready for game one. He's an unbelievable athlete. He doesn't need to play much rugby, he just needs to have his head in the right place.''
''It was hard not to keep an eye on him [during the game] because he was turning over so much ball,'' Mowen said. ''I thought he was back to where he's been at international standard.''
Pocock showed no signs of the knee injury that cruelled last season during the trial thrashing of the ACT XV.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
The frustrations of coaching were never more evident than after Scotland slumped to a last-minute defeat by Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger welcomed a positive response to midweek European misery as his team beat Everton 2-0 at Emirates Stadium
Rafael Nadal lifted his first title in nearly nine months Sunday after defeating Juan Monaco 6-4 6-1 at the Argentina Open
Jose Mourinho was overjoyed to satisfy his hunger for silverware with a first trophy of his second spell as Chelsea manager following a 2-0 Capital One Cup final defeat of Tottenham at Wembley
Connacht gave their bid to finish in the top half of the Guinness PRO12 a big lift with a 53-5 bonus-point win over Benetton Treviso
Despite James O'Connor's impressive return to Super Rugby for the Reds, Will Genia impressed the most to claim Australian Man of the Round honours
Greg Growden assesses the impact of Stephen Larkham's coaching on the Brumbies, and how he can boost the Wallabies for the Rugby World Cup
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge's fitness must be managed properly so that the striker "doesn't break"
Ander Herrera wishes he could play every game for Manchester United but manager Louis van Gaal's "philosophy" will ultimately restrict his match time
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has dismissed speculation he has fallen out with manager Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal admits Manchester United have fallen behind Chelsea and Manchester City this season because they have lacked a prolific goalscorer
Referee Roger East has told the body responsible for officiating standards in English football it was not a case of mistaken identity when he sent off Sunderland's Wes Brown at Manchester United
The PGA Tour swings into Los Angeles for the Northern Trust Open and the season steps up a gear with some notable names coming out of winter hibernation
An honest England side have been searching for the heir to Jason Robinson for nearly a decade. Step forward Jonathan Joseph, writes Simon Barnes
We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller
Chris Eubank Jr tells Inside Boxing of his hopes of a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders - and a dream showdown with the formidable Gennady Golovkin
Piers Morgan has declared himself "hurt" over former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson's claims that he is not an authentic fan of the club