Wallabies winger Joe Tomane is set to make his return from injury through Canberra club rugby this weekend instead of with the Brumbies, coach Stephen Larkham has confirmed.
Tomane hasn’t played since injuring his knee in April but has been left out of the squad for Friday night’s must-win Super Rugby clash against the Blues in Auckland, despite impressing Larkham with his movement at training.
“Every day that he goes out there and trains, he looks much better. I think just for his head, giving him the opportunity to play a bit of club rugby this week will put him in a better frame of mind for Super Rugby next week,” Larkham told reporters on Wednesday.
“We don’t really want to test him in Super Rugby where he’s a little bit unsure of whether he’ll be right or not, he’d rather do that through club rugby.”
It means James Dargaville and Nigel Ah Wong will retain their starting wing spots, giving them one more chance to impress ahead of Tomane’s departure to Europe next year.
Tomane revealed on Tuesday he will leave the Brumbies at season’s end to link up with French Top 14 club Montpellier, growing the joining number of Australian rugby players based overseas.
Larkham also flagged a switch at halfback, with Argentinian Tomas Cubelli to resume his starting spot and Joe Powell to move back to the bench, while Michael Wells is set to replace the injured Ben Hyne at No.8.
The Brumbies, who simply must keep winning to stave off a late challenge for their finals spot from the resurgent Waratahs, will officially name their team to face the Blues later on Wednesday.