Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has played alongside modern superstars, but rates departing captain Stephen Moore as the most passionate he has ever been involved with.
When asked what kind of legacy Moore would leave in the ACT, Larkham handed his captain the highest of compliments.
“He's got a huge network of people that respect him and will do anything for him and he's the most passionate leader I've been lucky enough to either play or coach with,” he said.
“He's only ever looked out for the team and making sure that the team does everything that they can possibly do.
“Whether it's in the program or individuals or himself, he's constantly looking at trying to make it the best program in the world and that's the legacy that he will leave for this organisation.”
Moore (Queensland) is just one of a number of Brumbies heading away from the team next year, with Matt Toomua (Leicester) and Joe Tomane (Montpellier) going overseas and David Pocock heading on sabbatical.
Ita Vaea has already retired and Michael Wells and Michael Dowsett will also be moving on next season.
Moore has become somewhat of a symbol of the Brumbies, Larkham said, and his loss would be the most acutely felt of any of the side’s leaving players.
"'Squeak’ has been a massive driver of the culture down here of just trying to get better every week,” he said.
“He's going to be missed I mean the other guys are going to be missed as well but it's every hard when you lose your captain and particularly a captain who is so entrenched in the organisation, the community and the way we play rugby.
An emotional Moore was gushing in his gratitude to the Canberra community after eight years in the nation’s capital, in which the Brumbies made the playoffs four times and the Super Rugby final once, in 2013.
Thank you to everyone @BrumbiesRugby and the supporters of the club. It's been a great ride and I'll always remember my time in Canberra 👍🏻— Stephen Moore (@stevemoore83) July 24, 2016
“I hadn't thought at all about it during the week...It obviously hits you a bit there at the end but that's it and I'm very proud to have been part of this great club and hopefully I've made a contribution in a positive way,” he said.
“The way that the city has embraced me and my family...I'll never forget my time in Canberra.
“I'll certainly remember it fondly and it'll always be a part of our life.”
And, as it so often is with the Wallabies captain, he simply oped he had succeeded in putting the Brumbies first during his tenure.
“I don't like to talk about myself too much but I think I'll always try to do what I think's best for the team and make it a better place,” he said.
“Every day you come in, you try and do what you think is the best outcome for the team and I've been lucky to have some great teammates and some great coaches, some of the best that anyone could hope for, in my time here."
Moore was confident, though, that the Brumbies would be able to continue growing despite the farewells.
“I've played in teams here that have been star studded and haven't achieved what we wanted to and the opposite,” he said.
“Look at the couple of years ago we didn't really have big name players, we did probably better than anyone expected.
“It all comes down to the quality of the program, the culture and the place and I’m confident there are players here going forward who can carry that and make it a better place.”