SYDNEY - The Brumbies will need Mark Gerrard to overcome his fumbles after opting to retain the Wallaby centre pairing of Stirling Mortlock and Adam Ashley-Cooper for their Super 14 opener against the Highlanders.
Gerrard will line up at fullback in Dunedin on Friday night despite a shaky performance, including several dropped balls, in that position in the Brumbies' final trial match against the NSW Waratahs.
Ashley-Cooper was Wallabies coach Robbie Deans' choice at fullback last season but he lines up at outside centre with the powerful Mortlock moved to inside centre.
Patrick Phibbs' outstanding trial form earned him the starting halfback role ahead of touted youngster Josh Holmes.
Former Wallaby winger Clyde Rathbone will play his first Super 14 game since March 2007 after making a successful return in the trails from a serious knee injury.
Mark Gerrard, Clyde Rathbone, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Stirling Mortlock, Francis Fainifo, Christian Lealiifano, Patrick Phibbs, Stephen Hoiles (capt), George Smith, Julian Salvi, Mark Chisolm, Ben Hand, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Nic Henderson.
Reserves: John Ulugia, Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani, Peter Kimlin, Josh Holmes, Tyrone Smith, Matt Toomua.
Source: NZ Herald