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Hamilton, Brown suffer injuries, Brumbies look to future

Monday, May 1, 2006    Sportal.co.nz    

He suffered a knock to the shin and Crusaders doctor Deb Robinson said Hamilton will not take part in training in the early part of the week in the side's build-up to the Bulls match on Friday.

Hamilton will be assessed before the team is announced on Wednesday.

Robinson added that lock Ross Filipo, who returned home earlier in the tour with a groin strain is making good progress.

Former Highlanders first five-eighths Tony Brown, now playing for the Sharks, could struggle to play in the rest of the competition. He broke bones in both his hands in the Sharks loss to the Bulls.

Coach Dick Muir was reported in the South African media as saying, "Tony's a tough player, and after receiving attention, he asked if he could go back onto the field in the second half.

"I asked him how he intended catching the ball with two broken hands!

"That's the character of the man. We have a versatile side and I feel prepared for the eventuality of injuries, but it would be a great loss if he's out," he said.

Meanwhile, reports emerged in Australia at the weekend that as a result of the Matt Giteau transfer to the Western Force, the Brumbies could move to Melbourne within the next five years in order to secure its future.

The franchise is concerned that if third-party agreements become the norm it will not be able to compete from Canberra.

Australian Rugby Union Players Association chief executive Tony Dempsey said in the Sun-Herald: "We have to be careful to ensure the future financial security of our provinces. At the moment there is no sign of financial distress but if that changes we have to consider all possibilities."

The Brumbies have been involved in talks with the Victorian Rugby Union about strengthening ties between the two organisations, and the Brumbies are likely to play a home game in Melbourne.

Rugby has strong corporate support in Melbourne and VRU boss Ron Steiner said that support had not been discouraged by the city's failure to secure a Super 14 team.