McCabe to shoulder SBW

2012-03-13 09:00

Sydney - The next test for Pat McCabe's reconstructed shoulder could be a mouth-watering clash against All Blacks and Chiefs inside centre Sonny Bill Williams.

McCabe needed shoulder surgery after last year's Rugby World Cup and returned to Super Rugby action in the Brumbies' last-gasp 24-23 win over the Cheetahs.

He resumed on the wing but a knee injury to five-eighth Matt Toomua could see McCabe return to inside centre, where he'd become an integral cog in Robbie Deans's Wallabies.

Toomua, who played the entire game against the Cheetahs despite hurting his medial ligament after just 10 minutes, underwent scans yesterday with the results expected today.

If they rule him out of Friday's clash in Tauranga, Christian Lealiifano could move to No 10, opening up the inside centre spot for McCabe.

McCabe was unfazed about whether he remained on the wing or moved into the midfield, he just wanted to increase his output for the Brumbies after what he felt was a disappointing game against the Cheetahs.

He said he wasn't 100 percent sure but guessed a move to centre was one of the options. ''I've played a lot of footy there in the last year and would love to have another crack at it, I'll guess we'll see what happens in the next day or so,'' he said.

The hard-running back wasn't daunted about a possible clash with Williams, but he knows he'll have his hands full. Whoever is up against him will need to be mindful of the Kiwi's ability to offload in the tackle, which can tear opposition defences apart.

''It'd be a good way to get back into the centres to have a good test like that,'' McCabe said.

''A lot of it's what the guys do around you because he's got such a good offloading game that everyone has got to be on their toes. But otherwise it's just like any other player and you want to shut down their space and time as much as you can.''

McCabe's shoulder has pulled up well after the Cheetahs game.

There were always going to be nagging doubts about whether the shoulder was ready, especially when he went for his first tackle.

But he got through unscathed and will continue to put his body on the line. ''I didn't have to make too many tackles [against the Cheetahs] so it's feeling pretty good. I was pretty nervous about it going into the game so to get through without any problems was a pretty big relief,'' McCabe said. ''A few times during the game it was in the back of my mind. Now I've got that first one under way everything will become a bit more natural and I won't think about it at all.''

The Brumbies are undefeated after two games, but face a big test against the Chiefs.

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