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Brumbies flyhalves to recover side by side


Lee Gaskin

Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua after his knee injury.

Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua after his knee injury. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

They made their Super Rugby debuts for the ACT Brumbies only weeks apart and have forged a strong bond in the past five seasons.

Now, Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano will work side by side in their quest to recover from their season-ending injuries next year.

Lealiifano had surgery at Calvary John James Hospital in Deakin last night after he dislocated and fractured his right ankle in the final minutes of Saturday night's 23-6 win against the NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium.

The 24-year-old will be sidelined for six months, ruling him out of the rest of the Super Rugby season and ending any chance of a Wallabies call-up this year. Toomua, 22, endured similar heartache when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the round six loss to the Durban Sharks.

Toomua and Lealiifano - who both recently inked new two-year deals tying them to the Brumbies until 2014 - have walked a similar path since the pair made their debuts in 2008.

Lealiifano got the nod in the season-opener against the Canterbury Crusaders in a hostile Christchurch that year, with Toomua getting the call-up a month later for the round five encounter against the Wellington Hurricanes in Canberra.

''We've been through a lot together, Christian and I, and this is something else,'' Toomua said yesterday.

''We're very, very close. He's got a tough period to get through but I think his return will be similar to mine.

''Personally he was there for me when I got hurt, but for the team we didn't really lose anything in terms of experience.''

Lealiifano's form at flyhalf was so strong he was in the running to be drafted into the Wallabies squad for the mid-season Tests and the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

The Australian conference leaders will be without their first and second-choice flyhalves for the final six games of the campaign, with Robbie Coleman and Zack Holmes the leading contenders to fill the No.10 jersey.

Brumbies coach Jake White has another 10 days to decide who gets the nod before his side returns from the bye to face the Wellington Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium on May 18.

Coleman has had limited opportunities in his three games back from a groin injury, while Holmes has made just two Super Rugby appearances, both off the bench this season.

The ace the Brumbies have up their sleeve is assistant coach Stephen Larkham.

Toomua said the Wallabies great had been a tremendous help to his own game and expected him to have a similar impact for whoever filled the flyhalf role.

''Bernie and I have worked multiple times a day, he's been massive,'' Toomua said.

''Robbie's proven in the last year or two that he's a quality player and Zack played in the trials.

''In terms of caps and experience it's yet to be known, but Jake has picked them because they're good players.''

Toomua was adamant the Brumbies had the depth and desire to overcome their setbacks and continue to be a competition force.

''As it is now, you don't want to be planning for next year,'' he said.

''You want the guys looking at each and every game and then it'll come naturally.

''We've done really well so far and hopefully we can keep that going.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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