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Brumbies play final Hand

Date

Chris Dutton

Brumbies player Ben Hand will captain the side against Wales tomorrow night at Canberra Stadium, in what could be his last game for the club.

Brumbies player Ben Hand will captain the side against Wales tomorrow night at Canberra Stadium, in what could be his last game for the club. Photo: Melissa Adams

Veteran ACT Brumbies lock Ben Hand will use tonight's match against Wales to farewell Canberra after the toughest season of his career.

Despite playing just 50 minutes of Super Rugby this season, Hand will lead a young Brumbies side into action against the Six Nations champions at Canberra Stadium.

Brumbies coach Jake White will use the contest to see which of his players will come into selection contention for a charge to the finals.

With the Brumbies' lock stocks of Sam Carter, Scott Fardy and Leon Power performing well, Hand is resigned to prematurely saying goodbye to the capital.

The 30-year-old played every match in his first three years at the Brumbies and was established in the second row.

But with White building for the future, Hand has been called on to play just once this year in the Brumbies' win over the Free State Cheetahs in March.

Frustrated by sitting on the sideline, he has signed a deal with French club Grenoble to leave Canberra at the end of the season.

While there are three Super Rugby games remaining before the finals, Hand said the team's impressive form would likely make the mid-week tour match his last for the Brumbies.

''With the team going so well you obviously want to be a part of it and it's tough watching in the stands or on television,'' Hand said.

''I think the guys are doing a good job at the moment so I don't see this is a chance for me to push my claims for selection again.

''This has definitely been a tough period … at the start of the year I was down and out but now I've got my head around it and helping the boys prepare each week.

''I'm training as hard as I can … the way I'm picturing this game is my last one in Canberra and to be captaining the side makes it even a little bit more special.

''I've had four great years here and after a bit of a tough year it's a really nice way to finish off for myself.''

Both Wales and the Brumbies will go into the match with untested combinations.

Half of the Brumbies' squad has played less than 10 Super Rugby games or are yet to make their debut.

Wales has just one player - lock Luke Charteris - backing up from the 27-19 Test loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane last Saturday night.

Coach Rob Howley has called in Melbourne Rebels skipper Gareth Delve from outside the original 34-man squad.

Howley said the clash with the Brumbies was a ''test of character'' for his players.

''We are a game down, but we still have all to play for in this series and Tuesday night is the perfect opportunity for this squad of players to move on [from losing to the Wallabies],'' Howley said.

''We have one or two bumps and bruises and we are expecting players to 'back-up' after playing a tough Test match and go out there 72 hours later and play for their country. That is exactly what touring is all about.''

Despite the lack of experience in the Brumbies' side, Hand said the youthful squad would not suffer.

Two Tuggeranong Vikings players - JP Pradaud and Beau Mokotupu - will be thrown into the professional arena and White is confident his young players can rise to the challenge.

''These guys have waited and held the tackle bags at training and waited and waited and now they get a chance against some flipping good players,'' White said.

''They get a chance for the Brumbies and get to play some international players which is a massive ask for some young boys.

''I think we get to try different combinations … there is a pathway for players who come to Canberra and a chance to make a name for themselves.

''There's no reason if they come down and play here they won't get an opportunity like this.''

The Brumbies' next match is away to the Western Force on June 30.

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 vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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