Brumbies to stick with rotation policy

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says we haven’t seen the last of the side’s rotation policy this season.

Larkham has been open about a strategy to rest players this season, the most high-profile being Scott Fardy against the Force a fortnight ago, though he’s far from the only one.

Young winger James Dargaville was rotated out of the side against the Waratahs, replaced by Nigel Ah Wong, before returning for Saturday’s Highlanders clash.

It's not only the Brumbies rotating players, with the Reds opting to 'manage' Stephen Moore, Rob Simmons and George Smith in the past two weeks, while the Force left Dane Haylett-Petty at home during their two-week tour of New Zealand.

Larkham said the rotations would continue through the season.

“The guys have enjoyed the challenge of getting out there for a couple of games and letting other guys have the chance,” he said.

It was another heartbreaker for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty iamges“We want to maintain that throughout the whole year and the beauty of this squad is there’s so much competition for spots.

“There’s been guys who’ve obviously had their opportunity in these first five games to get into the squad, other guys who’ve missed out, who probably don’t  deserve to have missed out.

“So. over the next couple of weeks, we’ll keep that rotation system in place.”

Though he is committed to that approach, the Brumbies mentor admitted the timing of the moves would be critical, to avoid disrupting combinations.

Larkham was full of praise for the young side he fielded on Saturday night, despite going down in the final minutes to an experienced Highlanders outfit.

“We certainly made a couple of mistakes at the end but the composure and the calling and the attitude of the group was spot on,” he said.

“It was difficult to execute and I don’t know how many times I hear the New Zealand sides are such great attacking sides (but) I’d like to see what the stats are tonight.

“We played the conditions well and they played the conditions well as well. I don’t remember many passages of play that they put the ball through their hands with.”

The Brumbies have a bye next week, with players conducting school visits on Tuesday before a week off, with a trip to Brisbane to face the Reds the week after.