Canberra - Stirling Mortlock's hopes of a last goodbye to Canberra fans have been dashed after a back injury ruled the former Australia captain out of the Brumbies' final Super 14 home match against the Highlanders on Saturday.
Mortlock, 32, who will cross to new franchise the Melbourne Rebels for the expanded 2011 season, has been out of the Brumbies lineup for the last four matches but was named on the bench in the hopes of a run-on role at Canberra Stadium.
Ed Stubbs will take his place on the bench, however, after Mortlock pulled up sore from training, the team said in a statement on Friday.
"I was really happy with the way my back went during the session yesterday but I always knew it was how I pulled up today," Mortlock said.
"Unfortunately it's a little too sore and we're better off making the call early and preparing for next week's game."
Saturday's match will also feature flanker George Smith's Australia farewell, the long-serving Wallaby having announced his retirement from international rugby earlier this year.
The sixth-placed Brumbies are two points outside the top four and must beat the Highlanders to keep their semi-final hopes alive before they travel to Christchurch to take on the Crusaders in next week's final round.