Brumbies keen for 2016 success

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It’s not just punters who think that 2016 might just be the Brumbies' year.

Brumbies co-captain Christian Lealiifano said with a number of players moving on in 2016, that this could be one of the last chances for this Brumbies group to succeed.

Even taking out any potential decision on David Pocock’s departure, the Brumbies will farewell Lealiifano’s fellow captain Stephen Moore and back Matt Toomua at the end of the season

The 28-year-old was reluctant to focus too much on player departures but said he felt the team had to make the most of their opportunity in 2016.

“It’s a bit sad to think of it that way but we’ve just got to maximise the opportunity we have with that group,” he said.

‘Whether that’s the off-field stuff or in a playing sense, I definitely feel it is our time,” he said.

“We’ve been lucky enough to have the core of the group together and it might be a bit different next year with a few leaving so we definitely need to maximise that (opportunity).”

Lealiifano will be saying goodbye to his inside backs partner Toomua after 2016, though he holds out hope of a reunion.

“He’s been like my little brother,” he said.

“He came out a year just after me straight out of school, didn't know what a coffee was, gave him a mocha and now he owns a bloody cafe.

Christian Lealiifano at the Super Rugby launch. Photo: Getty Images

“Good on him he’s going to go and experience something different with his wife and a different culture.

“I’m extremely sad that he’s gone but hopefully I’m still around when he’s back.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham echoed Lealiifano’s thoughts on their championship window.

“I think some of the boys are probably feeling that way.We’ve certainly spoken about that,” he said.

“That was one of the first things we spoke about in (preseason camp in)Thredbo was on paper we’ve got a good squad.

“We've managed to retain 99 per cent of the team compared to other teams in the competition who’ve probably lost some key players but we feel that it’s the right time for us to be successful.

“We’ve seen the finals over the last three years but we haven’t seen success there."

On the other hand, though, Larkham said the side wasn’t looking at the finals just yet.

“We don't want to look too far ahead and we spoke about that as well.

“It’s not about getting to the finals or how we play in the finals, it’s about playing  this first game and for us throughout the season that’s going to be the proposition week to week.”

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