Brumbies embrace outsider tag

Super Rugby

The Brumbies are happy to wear the underdog tag as finals approach, and their squad finds itself at close to full health.

Lausii Taliauli is the only player out of action with injury among the current squad as the Brumbies try to prove some critics wrong, when they host a quarter-final in three weeks’ time.

In a season where some of their Australian rivals have been crippled by mounting injury tolls, a healthy list is a rare treat, especially after a handful of players featured in the Wallabies June Series Tests.

Though they are already shaping as outsiders, sudden-death quarter-final, almost certain to be played against a Kiwi team, prop Scott Sio isn’t worried.

“I don't think anyone was going to give us a shot from the start of the season anyway so I guess it's nothing different for us,” he said.

“We've been pretty written off since the start.

“We'll use that underdog tag and we'll just stick together and whatever happens happens in the next five weeks.”

Christian Lealiifano was full of praise for Stephen Larkham. Photo: ARU Media/ Stu WalmsleyChristian Lealiifano is in the mix for a Super Rugby comeback, less than a year after his leukaemia diagnosis, though that decision will be left in the hands of coach Stephen Larkham and the 29-year-old.

Lealiifano is joined on the comeback trail by halfback Tomas Cubelli and prop Sio, both of whom made successful injury returns during the June break.

Prop Ben Alexander will break the Brumbies’ games record should be be picked for Friday’s Reds game, after msising the milestone pre-June with injury.

Before any knockout games, though, the Brumbies have to make it through the Reds and the Chiefs in their final regular season games.

Having a healthy squad can only help, Sio said.

“It’s the first time in a long time we've pretty much got the whole squad back on deck and unfortunate for Lausi` he's out for the season but he's been doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes in his rehab program.

“We've pretty much got a 35-36 players available for selection for this weekend which is going to do us a lot of good heading into a finals game.”

The Brumbies will take on the Reds on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO.