Kyle Godwin could very easily have been one of the Force players in the eye of the Super Rugby storm this week, but instead he is an observer of the uncertainty his former teammates currently face.
Godwin is across the country at the Brumbies, a club that hasn’t escaped the furore around the future of Super Rugby with rumours of a Canberra-Melbourne merger in recent weeks.
Monday’s reports that the ARU has already decided the Force would be the team to go should the competition change in 2018, have intensified the rumour mill again, with a decision expected to be made by the end of next week.
Godwin said that news ‘upset’ him, still having many friends at the club that gave him his opportunity.
“When I heard that I was very upset, (but) obviously it’s more speculation at the moment," he said.
"If it was to be, I’d be disappointed because I've got lots of friends there and I think the Force gave me the opportunity to play Super Rugby, so I think it’s a definite pathway.
“I think there was 11 players playing from WA in one or two of the games, so it shows there’s definitely a pathway that’s working, so to see that go would be very upsetting and hopefully that’s not the case and we have five teams in the competition next year.”
Playing in Canberra has been a different challenge for Godwin, with the Brumbies a team intertwined with so much of the city’s sporting history and recent visits to schools across the regions around Canberra have shown Godwin what the team means to its fans.
Godwin was one of a handful of players who visited Goulburn and Braidwood primary schools on Tuesday, before flying home to Perth for the rest of his bye week.
“Canberra’s a small little local hub and the Brumbies are at the heart of that, if you know what I mean,” he said.
“Every time I put that jersey on, I’m representing some players that have gone before me and I just want to do the jersey proud.
“The Brumbies represent not only the Canberra community but also the wider NSW and country region community, so for us to go out and give back to them to make them feel appreciated, makes us happy as well,” he said.
Part of the Brumbies’ history is the side’s success and they have found that early on this year, leading the Australian conference after five rounds.
Co-captain Sam Carter has been vocal in saying the side was never talking about rebuilding despite a relatively unknown list compared to some of their rivals, and Godwin said it was a sense that pervaded through the team.
“We had a camp at the beginning of the year where we spoke about how we want to play and how we want to be seen as a team throughout the year and at the end of the year,’ he said.
“That was us playing finals football. For us that’s our goal and motivation, regardless of the team (we have).
“We all sat down and described how we want to be, that stuff, you’ll see it through our games.”
Godwin is enjoying one of his most consistent seasons, looking to finally shake off a series of injuries that curtailed his progress in Perth.
The five consecutive matches is as long a streak as he managed all through last Super Rugby season, with a total of nine games in his final season at the Force, before a consistent NRC season gave him a Wallabies berth.
“It’s been good to string a couple of games together and each week I’ve felt like I’ve definitely improved,” he said.
“I think there’s some combinations forming in the backline and there’s other players in the squad also pushing for a spot so there’s great healthy competition but at the same time some good combinations forming."
The Brumbies have a bye this weekend before heading up to Brisbane to take on the Reds in round seven.