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ACT Brumbies lock Sam Carter likely to return after knee injury

ACT Brumbies lock Sam Carter pushing for a return from injury.

ACT Brumbies lock Sam Carter pushing for a return from injury. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

SANZAR might have ruled out national anthems but the ACT Brumbies could be bolstered by 200-centimetre lock Sam Carter for their grand final rematch against the Waikato Chiefs at Canberra Stadium on Anzac Day.

Carter injured his knee in the Brumbies' comprehensive 26-9 victory over the Auckland Blues in round eight and sat out the narrow win over the Queensland Reds before the bye.

Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher said if Carter got through this week's training he'd be brought back in for the  Anzac Day blockbuster.

Carter isn't the only key Brumby facing an imminent return to action. Powerful No.8 Fotu Auelua (knee) is expected to be back for the trip to Christchurch to face the Canterbury Crusaders on May 3, with Henry Speight (jaw) and Leon Power (knee) likely to be fit for the South Africa trip the following week.

Fisher said a fit Carter would return to the starting line-up, which would force boom youngster Tom Staniforth out of the 23 despite making his debut in the narrow win over the Queensland Reds in the week before the Brumbies' bye.

Scott Fardy would then resume his partnership with Carter in the second row with Jordan Smiler likely to remain at blindside flanker.

Former international winger Clyde Rathbone (hamstring) is also fit again but will be hard-pressed to force his way into a firing backline.

"If Sam gets through the week's training he'll start," Fisher said on Sunday. "If Carts comes back he just resumes his position and then we'll keep the status quo that we've had in the previous few weeks."

Staniforth earned a two-week contract, which is now up, and Carter's return would see the 19-year-old head to the Gold Coast for an Australian under-20s camp at Bond University this week.

Fisher praised Staniforth's debut efforts but said once contracted players returned to fitness they would be used ahead of the part-time pub glassy.

Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa, who's part of  the extended player squad, is also part of the Australian under-20s camp starting on Tuesday.

"It may be beneficial for [Staniforth] to go [to the Gold Coast]," Fisher said.

"We've got [Jack] Whetton there who's been strong off the bench the last couple of rounds for us. We'll just wait and see what transpires at training tomorrow.

"If we've got contracted players available then we're more likely to go with contracted players."

While SANZAR's decision to ban the playing of the Australian and New Zealand anthems left many shaking their heads Fisher still expected a "great atmosphere and solemnity" for the day of remembrance.

Regulations state the anthems can be played only before Test matches and refused to bend the rules despite the Brumbies trying to create an Anzac tradition in the nation's capital similar to  that of the AFL at the MCG in Melbourne.

But Fisher was confident it wouldn't dampen the festivities on the day. "I'm not fussed. I'm more concerned about preparing for the game," he said.

"I think it'll be a great atmosphere. I think the solemnity of the Anzac Day celebrations will be fantastic. I think it will be a great crowd and I think it will be a great game."

FRIDAY

ACT Brumbies v Waikato Chiefs

At Canberra Stadium, 5.40pm

Tickets available from Ticketek

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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