The two-time Super Rugby champion ACT Brumbies were one of the form teams in the 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby competition, making it to the semi-finals and testing the eventual champions the NSW Waratahs to the limit of their ability and fitness. Although they did not prevail that night, the talk out of the nation’s capital is that this team will be one to beat in 2015.
The Brumbies tested their depth in the trial matches with games against New Zealand’s Highlanders and the Western Force. Despite going down in both (24-19 & 31-21) the Brumbies showed potential in both matches and blooded some up and coming players in their Extended Playing Squad.
Player to watch: David Pocock
The former Qantas Wallabies captain has been cruelled by injury since flying east from the Western Force to join the Brumbies, but 2015 could be the breakout year for the experienced flanker. With the Rugby World Cup on the horizon the Qantas Wallabies will be needing every fit and available player to push their claim for selection.
Rated as one of the best pilferers at the breakdown globally, Pocock will bring a lot to the Brumbies’ forward pack and cause headaches for flyhalves as he shoots off from scrums.
Brumbies Head Coach, Stephen Larkham is confident about Pocock’s return and role within the side.
“That’s the role of a No. 7, particularly off scrum and off the back of lineouts, is putting pressure on the playmakers,” Larkham said.
“Poey is looking fantastic, he played two trials for us, he played 60 minutes against the Force, 70 minutes against the Highlanders, both games were a step up from his performances last year.”
Although not technically a new signing, the young Brumbies stalwart, Tom Staniforth has graduated to the Brumbies squad after an impressive resume of Australian pathways teams and being a member of the Brumbies squad. Tom has played for the Australian Schoolboys side twice, and played for the Australian U20s during the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship.
Not a signing, but certainly a first, Stephen Larkham will stand alone at the front of the Brumbies coaching ranks in 2015 with the departure of Laurie Fisher. Known for being one of the best Rugby brains in the business, ‘Bernie’ will continue to look to mentor his young backline, led by Vice Captain Nic White and Matt Toomua.
The ACT Brumbies will take on the Queensland Reds at GIO Stadium in Canberra at 7.40 AEST Friday 13 February with the match to be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS.
Join the Brumbies as they look to go one better in 2015 and make the final and become a member here!