The Brumbies are likely to field a full-strength side in Saturday’s Super Rugby showdown against the Crusaders, with both Matt Toomua and Henry Speight slated to play.
The Wallabies duo, recovering from ankle injuries, trained on Tuesday and are set to be given until game day in Canberra to prove their fitness.
Playmaker Toomua has missed all but 24 minutes of the Brumbies’ last seven matches, while Speight rolled his foot early in Friday’s win over the Force.
“They’re both looking pretty good to play,” captain Stephen Moore said.
“It’ll be a huge boost to have `Pup’ back in the team and obviously Henry’s been playing really well the last couple of weeks.”
It’s unclear how Toomua will slide back into the squad, but halfback Nic White reckons coach Stephen Larkham will play him at inside centre and keep Christian Lealiifano at No.10.
His return is timely for the Brumbies who are fighting for a top-two spot that will earn them a week off and home semi-final.
The Brumbies are equal on points with the NSW Waratahs atop the Australian ladder, but have one less win.
A victory over the Crusaders at GIO Stadium will give them a shot at conference honours, however that will depend on the result of the Waratahs’ final-round clash with the Queensland Reds on Saturday night.
“I think if you look at the history of the competition, the higher up you can finish the better your prospects (of winning the title) are,” said Moore, who marks his 100th game for the Brumbies this round.
“We’re certainly focused on doing that and we know if we’re going to finish top two, we’re going to have to win. It’s a pretty simple equation for us.”
The skipper knows it will be a tough task against a side that, despite being out of finals contention, are keen to send legends Richie McCaw and Dan Carter off as winners.
“They’ve got their own motivations to play well and it will be a good test for us I think,” he said.
“We need to play at our best.”
White, preparing for potentially his last game in Canberra before moving to France, said the Brumbies had a similar `nothing to lose’ attitude having already secured a place in the playoffs.
“So you can go out there playing with a bit of confidence,” he said.
“That’s our attitude, to go out there and maybe bring something different, something a bit funky.
“And Bernie (Larkham) is full of those ideas – his eyes light up in meetings when he brings something different.
“I think the last couple of years we’ve been guilty of going into our shell in these big games, so it’s about going out there and expressing ourselves a bit.”