Brumbies wade into the unknown ahead of Singapore trip

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

They'll be up against a hotchpotch invitational team but Brumbies coach-to-be Dan McKellar says the trip to Singapore will present an opportunity for fringe players to push for selection ahead of a finals tilt.

Four regular stars in the John I Dent Cup - Darcy Swain, Sione Taula, Andrew Robinson and George Morseu - will get their chance to shine alongside a Brumbies squad missing their Wallaby stars.

They'll square off with the Asia Pacific Dragons, an invitational team coached by Heyneke Meyer.

"For those players, to get to Singapore and get a chance to experience what it's like to play professional rugby, I think it's great," McKellar said.

"I think it's a great reward for how they have performed this year."Fringe players like Andy Muirhead will get a chance to press their case for more game time. Photo: Getty ImagesThe match will also provide a chance for regular Brumbies to tune up ahead of a run at the finals.

"We gave them a week off last week but they're back training this week and play Thursday night before playing club football the following week," McKellar said.

"So by the time the Reds game comes along they haven't de-conditioned from a match point of view."

With Stephen Larkham on Wallabies duties, McKellar will take the reigns when the club depart on Monday.Nigel Ah Wong will get his chance to impress. Photo: Getty Images"It's not Super Rugby so it won't be too intense but it's always good to get away and lead the group," he said.

"It's no different to previous years - when Stephen goes away with the Wallabies I take over in a caretaker role so I'm pretty comfortable with it.

"I think we're all pretty relaxed - we just want to get over there and promote the game in Singapore, promote the Brumbies brand and put on a performance that does the jersey proud."

McKellar admitted he is relatively in the dark as to what they will be up against, other than the opposition coach.Wharenui Hawera will steer the Brumbies attack in Singapore. Photo: Getty Images"There's a certain amount of unknown when it comes to the opposition," he said.

"I think Heyneke Meyer - the ex-Springboks coach - will be coaching them and they're currently at Mauritius as well.

"Cornal Hendricks - the Springbok winger coming back from a heart condition - he will potentially play.

"But other than it will be a mixture of Fijian players, guys based in Hong Kong and some New Zealand players."