Wallabies ambitions pushing Butler

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Brumbies backrower Jarrad Butler has praised his side’s depth ahead of their clash with the Brumbies.

Sitting on top of the Australian conference, the Brumbies are well placed to secure a spot in the Super Rugby finals but with numerous injuries to key players, it could have been a different story.

In their 23-6 victory over the Bulls on Friday the Brumbies were missing key backs Matt Toomua, Henry Speight, Joe Tomane as well as the retirement of backrower Ita Vaea in recent weeks.

Butler getting extra minutes of late after Vaea’s departure and because of David Pocock’s recent suspension.

“We’ve got such a big emphasis on being a strong squad,” Butler said.

“We’ve got 35 guys in our squad and regardless of who we’re going to put in the team, we’re going to be able to get the job done and not drop the standards.

"That’s something we pride ourselves on as a reserve pack and obviously there’s guys coming into the starting team and you can see it from last week who did get their first opportunities, Dargs (James Dargaville), Nigel (Ah Wong) and Robbie (Coleman) at centre they all played really well to help us get a result.” He said.

Since Pocock’s return, Butler has shifted to No. 8, forming a formidable backrow alongside Wallaby enforcer Scott Fardy.

“I’m really enjoying No.8 at the moment,” he said.

"When you’ve got guys like Fardy and Poey running out in the backrow it makes your job a bit easier, you can just focus on what you need to focus on and contribute where you can.”

Butler for the Barbarians in 2015. Photo: Getty ImagesOne man who has high praise for the up-and-coming star is Wallaby coach Michael Cheika, who invited Butler to join the Barbarians last year, making him the only uncapped international Australian to be part of the tour.

Butler has goals like anyone else to strive for the Wallabies jersey but is just focused on performing well for the Brumbies.

“A couple of years ago it was all about relishing the time I had to be in the Brumbies playing group and making the most of every minute,” Butler said.

“I really enjoyed that time and now it’s time where I do want to push for further honours, but it just comes down to be being on the field and trying to play well for the team,” he said.

The Brumbies take on the Rebels this Friday night at AAMI Park.

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