Rugby Union


Palmer tipped for Aust

Wallabies prop Ben Alexander has called for Brumbies teammate Dan Palmer to be drafted into the Wallabies squad and complete an all-ACT Australian front row.

Palmer continued to press his claim for national selection with a powerful performance in the Brumbies' 23-6 win against the NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

The tight-head prop held his own against Australian representative Sekope Kepu, scrummaging brilliantly while also showing his increased fitness to get around the park in a dominant 80-minute effort.

Alexander and Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore are expected to retain their spots for the Wallabies' mid-season Tests against Scotland and Wales, with Palmer's chances of joining them increasing every week.

''If I was picking the squad he'd be there,'' Alexander said.

''He's doing a great job organising our scrum … he's all class.


''The last year he's worked really hard with Dean [strength and conditioning coach Dean Benton] with increasing his mobility around the field. He's doing that as well as any prop in the comp.''

Palmer, 23, is in his second season with the Brumbies after struggling for opportunities with the Waratahs.

He has already developed into one of the club's senior leaders and is seen as a player capable of enjoying a long tenure in the national side.

The Brumbies' impressive start to the season has catapulted several of their lesser lights into Wallabies contention.

Lock Scott Fardy, lock Sam Carter and fullback Jesse Mogg will be in the running when Wallabies coach Robbie Deans selects his squad in just under a month.

The Super Rugby season will go on a month-long hiatus to accommodate international fixtures against Scotland in Newcastle on June 5 and a three-Test series against Wales, starting on June 9 in Brisbane.

Brumbies players are unlikely to be considered for the match against Scotland as it is only four days after they take on the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

The Brumbies have two home games left in the season and are hoping to crack the 20,000-crowd barrier when they host defending champions the Queensland Reds on May 26 after falling just short of that figure against the Waratahs.