Speight ruled out for up to eight weeks

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies have been dealt another injury hit, with winger Henry Speight is set to miss up to eight weeks with a facial fracture.

Speight broke a bone above his eye in a head clash with Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano against the Stormers and will return to Canberra this week to meet with surgeons.

The injury might not be such a blow to the Brumbies' long-term plans, with Speight originally set to join the Australian Sevens program full-time after this weekend's match against the Cheetahs.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham was pragmatic about Speight's setback.

“It’s a shame to lose Henry, he’s obviously a world-class winger,” Larkham said.

“At this stage it looks like he may be out for eight weeks which would be around the same time we take on the Rebels in Round 12, but we will have to wait for further advice.

“He’s remaining positive and will be doing everything he can to get back on the field as soon as possible.”

Larkham said Speight's planned departure from the squad made it easier to cover for the injury.

“With Henry’s commitment to the Australian Sevens program this year we knew we were going to have to make arrangements for his absence," he said.

“While the injury isn’t ideal, it is something we’ve planned for.”

Winger Lausii Taliauli has been flown over to South Africa to replace Speight in the squad, joining hooker Robbie Abel and back rower Ita Vaea as second-week additions to the tour.

Abel comes in to replace the suspended Josh Mann-Rea, while Vaea was called up for the injured Jarrad Butler (knee).

The Brumbies take on the Cheetahs in Bloenfontein on Sunday morning (AEDT).