Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says his axed Wallabies back-rower Scott Fardy merited national selection but understands why he was omitted.

Fardy was a member of Australia’s run-on side for the past three years, but lost his starting spot towards the end of the 2016 Rugby Championship.

Uncapped Waratahs duo Jack Dempsey and Ned Hanigan were this week chosen in the squad ahead of Fardy, who will join Irish powerhouse Leinster later this year.

“I think his (Fardy’s) from has certainly warranted it (Wallabies’ squad selection),” Larkham, who is also a Wallabies assistant coach, said.

“I think he’s been one of our stand-out players this year. I think he was man of the match last weekend against Jaguares.

“He’s a senior player in our team and he’s been doing an outstanding job at all of the duties off the field that a leader has to fulfil; so it’s disappointing for him.”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika last week said players heading overseas would still be eligible for Test selection, but Larkham hinted Fardy could be on the move before the start of the Rugby Championship in August.

“It’s something that we’ve spoke about as a team,” Larkham said.

“But kind of understandable in that he’s moving on at the end of this year and probably before the Rugby Championship kicks off he might be moving overseas.

“We’re not sure in terms of all that yet, but I think that was the main reason why he didn’t get picked.”

Injury has denied Wallabies prop Ben Alexander from setting a new Brumbies caps record in Saturday’s Super Rugby home clash with the Melbourne Rebels in Canberra.

“The boys found out this morning and they were all pretty shattered, as is Ben, but he’ll get his time,’ Larkham said.

Alexander was on course to make his 143rd appearance, eclipsing the mark he shares with legendary back-rower George Smith, until he sustained an injury at training on Wednesday evening.

Larkham said Alexander’s knee was swollen on Thursday and he would undergo tests. He could be right for their following game against the Reds, after the June break.

Nic Mayhew replaces Alexander in the only change to the starting side.

The Brumbies could tie up the conference title if they win this weekend and the three Australian teams with a mathematical chance of catching them all lose to New Zealand teams.

The Brumbies take on the Rebels on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO.

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