Brumbies ready for frosty Super Rugby opener

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

The only predictable thing about Saturday's Super Rugby season opener for the Brumbies will be the weather.

The ACT side, who are planning to employ an up-tempo style, flew out to Japan on Tuesday night in preparation for their clash with the Sunwolves.

The forecast high at game time of just 11 degrees at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium is obviously a dramatic switch from the Australian summer.

Last year's quarter-finalists know what they are getting there but the Brumbies have faced the Sunwolves just once before - a thumping 66-5 win in 2016 in Canberra.

Star prop Allan Alaalatoa said there was an expectation the Sunwolves would be an improved unit after the Japanese team won only three games during their first two Super Rugby campaigns.

Allan Alaalatoa has been one of the form Brumbies forwards. Photo: Getty Images"We expect them to be solid up front in the set piece," he said.

"We really don't know what to expect ... but they love throwing the ball around and they're very fit so it's going to be a real test on our lungs."

While the Sunwolves have been known for their ball movement, the Brumbies have also been focusing on an up-tempo style under new coach Dan McKellar.

A gruelling pre-season schedule has prepared them for that style of play, according to Alaalatoa who has been capped 22 times for the Wallabies.

"You have to be fitter, it's something the coaching staff worked on over the pre-season," he said.

"The forward packs have been throwing the ball around a lot more, so that's exciting."

The Brumbies will name their team for the game on Thursday, with anticipation surrounding who will replace injured Wallabies star David Pocock at openside flanker.

Lachlan McCaffrey and Tom Cusack are the most likely replacements at No.7 after the pair started in trials against the Chiefs and Rebels, respectively.

The Brumbies take on the Sunwolves on Saturday February 24, kicking off at 1:15pm local, 3;15pm AEDT. 

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