News in Brief
Brumbies hand Harrison a leadership role
January 18, 2010
Brumbies lock Justin Harrison and flanker George Smith share a joke, Brumbies pre-season training session, Griffith Oval, Canberra, Australia, January 18, 2010
Brumbies forwards Justin Harrison and George Smith share a joke during a pre-season training session © Getty Images

  • Former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison has been named in the Brumbies leadership group for the forthcoming season - just five days after completing an eight month suspension.

    The ex-Waratahs, Ulster and Bath second row, who was also part of the Brumbies set up between 1997 and 2004, was banned last year after he admitted to taking cocaine during his stint with Premiership side Bath. The 35-year-old also admitted to shouting out "class A, it's OK, everyone's doing it" during Bath's end of season party in London.

    "The amount of intellectual property he holds after almost 15 years of professional rugby is unsurpassed," said coach Andy Friend, "and he's been one of the key individuals in each squad he's been a part of."

    Harrison joins another returning star Matt Giteau and forwards Stephen Moore, Mitchell Chapman and last season's skipper Stephen Hoiles in the leadership group. The squad also contains three Test captains past and present in Giteau, current Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom and flanker George Smith.

  • Wales winger Leigh Halfpenny is set to undergo shoulder surgery at the end of the season. The 21-year-old Cardiff Blues star will play on until the end of the season before going under the knife and as a result is set to miss Wales' tour to New Zealand.

    "Leigh may not be available for the summer tour as he needs a shoulder operation," said Wales coach Gatland. "We understand it is just a tidy up of a shoulder and he should be back for the start of next season."

  • Fijian international flanker Akapusi Qera is the latest player to re-sign with Premiership side Gloucester afrter agreeing a new two-year deal. "Q brings real dynamism to our back row. He gets around the park, he carries well and scores plenty of tries. He works hard and he's still keen to learn and develop his game," commented head coach Bryan Redpath.

    In addition, Freddie Burns, Charlie Sharples and Henry Trinder have all signed two-year extensions to their current contracts that secure their futures at Kingsholm until at least 2012.

  • London Irish have received a boost ahead of its important Heineken Cup fixture with Leinster this week with the announcement that Clarke Dermody has signed a new two year contract that will keep him with the club until June 2012.

  • Northampton have signed former Wales prop Darren Morris until the end of this season. Saints have swooped for 35-year-old Morris following a career-ending injury suffered by their Argentinian international front-row forward Santiago Bonorino. Bonorino, 34, has retired with immediate effect due to a back problem. He joined Northampton from their Guinness Premiership rivals Leicester last summer. Morris, most recently with Cardiff Blues, has made more than 100 Premiership appearances for Leicester and Worcester.


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