Rugby Union

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham happy with Liam Gill's two-game ban for dangerous tackle on Nic White

Queensland Reds flanker Liam Gill only got two weeks for this tackle on Brumbies halfback Nic White.
Queensland Reds flanker Liam Gill only got two weeks for this tackle on Brumbies halfback Nic White. 

ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is happy Liam Gill's two-week suspension for his dangerous tackle on Nic White is adequate, despite it being described as a move straight out of the WWE.

Larkham also said flanker David Pocock was a world-class player and capable of slotting straight back into the Brumbies' starting XV against reigning Super Rugby champions NSW Waratahs at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday, despite only having played six games in two years.

A lifting tackle is meant to carry a four-week suspension, but Queensland Reds flanker Gill was given a reduction for pleading guilty, having a good record and having played for Australia.

Gill picked up White at a ruck in Saturday's game, tipping him upside down before slamming him into the ground on his side.

Reds coach Richard Graham described it as something out of wrestling, rather than rugby. Gill was given a yellow card for the offence.

After the match, Larkham said half-backs needed to be protected and thought the yellow should have been a red.

But he felt the two-week ban, which equates to just one game because the Reds have a bye this weekend, was fair.

"Certainly his good record stands him in good stead, I think they're all good reasons [to reduce the ban] and he got a yellow card in the game so you've got to take that into consideration as well," Larkham said.

"It was out of character. It was certainly dangerous and reckless, but Nic didn't land directly on his neck. It's all independently done and I've got full confidence in the process and happy with the outcome."

Larkham is facing a tough selection dilemma if Pocock is passed fit after missing four weeks due to an ankle syndesmosis injury.

The Brumbies coach said the former Wallabies captain was on track to play and he could come straight back into the starting line-up if he gets through this week's training.

Two knee reconstructions and the ankle injury have meant Pocock has played just six games since moving to Canberra for the 2013 season.

Jarrad Butler has been an excellent deputy in the No.7 jersey in his absence, while Ita Vaea has been a standout at No.8 after overcoming blood clots on his heart.

Blindside flanker Scott Fardy would be one of the first picked and calls the lineout.

It means Larkham could have to drop either Butler or Vaea to the bench for the clash against arch-rival Waratahs.

Another option is to move Fardy into the second row, but Sam Carter and Rory Arnold have been outstanding at lock this season.

"We're really not going to know the complete story until [Tuesday], but everything's tracking for him to get back this week," Larkham said.

"He's a world-class player, so he's definitely a player that could slot straight back into the starting team."

Matt Toomua is expected to be passed fit from a concussion test on Monday night after coming off at half-time against the Reds.

Brumbies forwards coach Dan McKellar said it was just precautionary and he would play against the Waratahs.

Toomua passed the test at half-time and then again after the 29-0 victory over the Reds, but the Brumbies want to ensure every box is ticked when it comes to concussion.

The 25-year-old five-eighth has had problems in the past, getting head knocks in consecutive Wallabies games last year.

"He should be fine, it was more precautionary than anything," McKellar said.

"Obviously he's got a big year ahead of him and Steve Larkham recognises that and just thought it was a chance to give Christian [Lealiifano] some game time at 10 and have a look at James Dargaville for a full 40 minutes and not take too many risks with [Toomua]."

SUPER RUGBY ROUND SIX

Sunday: ACT Brumbies v NSW Waratahs at Sydney Football Stadium, 4.05pm.

TV time: Live on Fox Sports 2.