JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

McCabe ready, but is there a spot for him?

Brumbies centre Pat McCabe is ready to return from a broken neck.

Brumbies centre Pat McCabe is ready to return from a broken neck. Photo: Colleen Petch

Pat McCabe's feet are itching to get back into the ACT Brumbies line-up, but the Wallabies centre is unsure how coach Jake White will fit him into a strong back line.

McCabe has resumed contact training after a surgeon gave him the all clear in his recovery from a fractured neck. He has been pencilled in to resume with an ACT XV against Tonga on March 7.

It would mean McCabe won't return for the Brumbies against arch-rival NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium two days later, but he's expected to be part of the squad for the two-game trip to South Africa following that.

McCabe injured his neck on the Wallabies' spring tour of Europe in November and wore a brace for two months.

He took that off six weeks ago and has recently resumed contact work. He said he needed more contact training to ensure he was 100 per cent ready to return.

How McCabe pulls up from this week's training will decide whether he resumes against Tonga.

''Physically I feel great,'' he told The Canberra Times on Sunday.

''I've had six weeks of training now since getting out of the neck brace, so I'm feeling good and strong, it's just a matter of getting back into that contact stuff, which is the last hurdle.

''I've been back around the team and been able to train with the team now … [but] I haven't done any breakdown or tackling work just yet. I guess it's just getting confident in those areas and just feeling comfortable and ready to play.''

It has been a bittersweet start to the Super Rugby season for McCabe. The Brumbies sit on top of the ladder after winning their first two matches.

They have plenty of depth in the back line, with McCabe's imminent return to bolster that even further.

Where he'll fit in will be a problem for White and backs coach Stephen Larkham. McCabe can play almost anywhere behind the forwards - wing, fullback, as well as outside and inside centre.

A battle with Andrew Smith for the outside centre spot seems likely.

''I guess it's a nice concern to have, obviously the boys there are playing extremely well at the moment,'' McCabe said. ''Obviously I'd like to play, but if I can't then I'll support the guys who are and just try and make sure we keep winning.''

The Brumbies have a bye this week and resume against the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium on March 9.

Related Coverage

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 vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
Win an iPad mini by entering our Sport survey
Featured advertisers