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    Jake confirms McCabe return

    2013-04-02 10:09
    Sydney - Wallabies centre Pat McCabe will make his rugby comeback on Friday with Brumbies coach Jake White confirming the star back is fit to play.

    McCabe's return is a timely boost for the Brumbies as they aim to keep their lead at the top of the overall Super Rugby ladder and the Australian conference.

    White is expected to make changes to his side for the round eight clash with the Southern Kings at Canberra Stadium.

    Some of the players are battered and bruised after a tough opening to the season and White is using his rotation policy to ensure the squad remains fresh as they chase a spot in the finals.

    Hooker Stephen Moore appears likely to be rotated to the bench which opens the door for Siliva Siliva to earn his first starting cap after a horror run of injuries.

    McCabe has played just 30 minutes of rugby since breaking his neck while on tour with the Wallabies last November.

    Some doctors feared the injury could end his career, but after spending almost three months in a neck brace, McCabe recovered from the fractured vertebrae.

    His initial comeback was for the Brumbies XV against Tonga A at the start of March.

    But just 30 minutes into the match, he tore his hamstring and he was sent back to the rehab group.

    ''Pat is fine, he's pulled up nicely so in all likelihood he'll be involved this week and that's positive for us,'' White said.

    ''We haven't had Jesse [Mogg] for two weeks, to get a guy like Pat McCabe back is fantastic.

    ''We're in a really good space ... the nice thing is if you get a guy like Pat McCabe back is not bad going into this part of the campaign.

    ''There's no right and wrong way [of getting him back], the bottom line for me is I like to bring boys like him straight back into the starting line-up. I don't want to risk bringing him off the bench and then you've got 14 men.

    ''If he's good enough to go, he should be good enough to start. It just depends [whether he starts] on who we [select] against the Kings in terms of combinations.''

    White identified Moore, skipper Ben Mowen, Peter Kimlin and Christian Lealiifano as the players most in need of an opportunity to recharge.

    But he insisted the ladder-leading Brumbies were not taking competition newcomers the Kings lightly despite the South Africans winning just one game so far.

    Who White picks will be determined by how his players recover from a tough three weeks.

    The Brumbies played two brutal matches in South Africa and were welcomed home to another bruising encounter against the Pretoria Bulls last weekend.

    Given Mowen is the Brumbies' lineout chief, it's unlikely he will drop out of the starting XV given Siliva looms as the starting hooker.

    ''They've played [almost] 80 minutes of every game so in the next couple of weeks we have to find ways to rotate those guys,'' White said.

    ''It's not as easy as saying this week, you can't pre-plan it and you have to look at other guys and see how they're pulling out.

    ''Scott Fardy got a bang on his foot and his face, will he be ready? If he's not that has an effect on rotation of other players ... sometimes you don't have the luxury of [planning].

    ''This is a long season, the players don't see it as getting dropped. It's rotating, resting time and a chance to clear their heads.''

    Read More On:  brumbies super 15 pat mccabe rugby

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