Brumbies' Josh Mann-Rea to play on

Oliver Caffrey

He'll be 38 and coming off hamstring surgery but Brumbies veteran Josh Mann-Rea has vowed to play on next season.

When the popular hooker snapped his hamstring off the bone and tore his adductor, there were fears his career was over.

He's out for the rest of this season after the freak incident against Melbourne in March.

But the late bloomer, who didn't make his Super Rugby debut until 31, wants to prolong his time with the Brumbies as long as he can.

"I'll hopefully get back for the (National Rugby Championship), have a few games through that and get some confidence leading into next year," Mann-Rea said.

"Usually any injury I've ever had I'm straight back into it hard and fast trying to get back on the field.

"But the hamstring off the bone is a slow one, which is frustrating.

"It feels a lot better than I think it should but I still have to be careful with it."

The two-Test Wallaby's absence has seen rookie Folau Faingaa become the Brumbies' leading rake.

Connal McInerney has travelled to South Africa as a back-up No.2 for the Brumbies' clash with the Bulls on Saturday night.

McInerney was offered a short-term contract when Mann-Rea was injured, seeing him put his job in Sydney on hold.

Mann-Rea has full belief in the 23-year-old handling a huge Bulls front-row.

"I think he's shown a lot of promise and every time he's put that jersey on, he's delivered," Mann-Rea said.

"He's been in the system for a while nopw and he'll do fine because he's got a level head on him and goes pretty hard."