The Brumbies have already been installed by many as the top Aussie contender for the 2016 Super Rugby title but lock Sam Carter says punditry means nothing.
In his sixth season at the ACT franchise, Carter has been a part of some agonising finals losses in recent years but watched on as the Brumbies went through their 2015 finals campaign.
Carter said they would not be carried away by perceptions of their squad quality.
“We’ve got a good squad on paper but that doesn’t get the results,” he said.
“We’ve just got to make sure we tick all the boxes and put our best foot forward.
“ If we do that, we know the results will fall our way.”
Carter will take on the lineout calling duties for the ACT franchise this year and hopes to make more of an impact as a leader.
“A lot of guys have got a fair bit of experience now and I’m becoming one of those people,” he said.
“I think a few guys are looking to step up this year and really make a mark on the team and lead around the park.
“I’ve been given the lineout duties this year so I think that’s more my responsibility.
“I’ll focus on that and if I do that to the best of my abilities and go a long way.”
Carter was one of a handful of Wallabies representatives who returned to Brumbies training last week, kicking off with a brutal training camp in Thredbo and Jindabyne.
Despite having a later start to pre-season, Carter said the expectations were clear on the returning players.
“Most of the guys that were in the Wallabies during the World Cup have been in the Wallabies before so they normally come back in pretty good nick,” he said.
“We know the deal. You’ve got to come back in reasonable shape on the 44th of January so most of the guys responded well to that and are ready to go.”
The Brumbies play their first trial on February 6 against the Waratahs in Wagga, with their Super Rugby season starting on February 26 against the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium.