While Super Rugby trials are generally taken with a grain of salt, for plenty of players it’s a chance to make an early stamp on the season.
Brumbies backrower Jordan Smiler is one of those who will be in an intense competition for a spot, when the ACT takes on the Waratahs on Saturday.
Smiler featured in 18 matches for the Brumbies last year, with two starts but will likely have to compete with the likes of Ita Vaea and Jarrad Butler for the number eight spot.
Speaking on Monday, Smiler said trials would give every player a chance to prove their credentials, whether it be to win a spot or hang on to one.
“Trials are an opportunity for guys to put their hand up and say, ‘I’m ready for this level’,” he said.
“For others it’s to say, ‘I can start’ and others to say, ‘I’m good enough to hold my position.
“But at the end of the day it’s a trial and we’re there just to have a crack and work on things we’ve been doing through the pre-season.”
The 30-year-old said he wasn’t worried where coach Stephen Larkham picked him in the pre-season matches.
“I’ve got to know my role,” he said.
“I’ve been there long enough to know wherever I’m playing, whether it’s in the side or if it’s in the row.
“It’s just to do my job in either position.
“I’ve left that a long time ago. I’m not worrying about where I play, it’s just when I play and what position.
“I play my role and I do that to the best of my ability.”
The Super Rugby pre-season trials kick off on Wednesday February 3, with the Western Force hosting the Hurricanes in Gosford.
The Force is live streaming the match on its website.
The Melbourne Rebels are next off the block, facing the Auckland Blues in New Zealand on Thursday.