Hewat eager to add unpredictability to Brumbies attack

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

New Brumbies attack coach Peter Hewat is eager to add some flash to the fire in Canberra, having spent the past decade playing and coaching in Japan's Top League.

Hewat will need to bring some pizzazz back to the Brumbies, with the ACT outfit scoring third least points in Super Rugby last year.

That was quite possibly due to a heavy reliance on set piece play and the points it can produce.

There were flashes of unpredictability - including Joe Powell's brilliant try of the year against the Hurricanes - but those flashes were few and far between.

"That's one thing we are definitely trying to change - being a little bit less predictable in attack," Hewat said.

"Being a bit more ad lib in the way we want to attack and be more dangerous from unstructured situations."

Doing that is easier said than done but the return of David Pocock and a full season from Christian Lealiifano will only help.

While the pair have been away with Panasonic and Ulster, respectively, Hewat said the coaching staff had been keeping them in the loop, forecasting a few different combinations which feature Lealiifano at both flyhalf and inside centre.

"We're in constant contact with (Christian) - Dan has given him all the new information we have been bringing in," Hewat said.Christian Lealiifano could play at 10 or 12 next year. Photo: Getty Images"He can play both 10 and 12 and we had some guys come in last year that got some really good experience when he wasn't there.

"We are going to play around with some combinations and we're not locking anything in at the moment."

While the likes of Lealiifano, Pocock and the Brumbies' other Wallabies are away, there is extra opportunity for players such as new recruit Matt Lucas, who will be up against Powell and Vikings halfback Ryan Lonergan in the fight for a starting spot.

"No one has locked in positions here, we are really making that message clear," Hewat said.Matt Lucas spent the majority of his 2017 playing for Manly. Photo: Marlins Media"If you train well, you play well, you'll play - if he does all that (Lucas) can definitely push for that starting role."

That will be music to Lucas' ears, having spent the majority of his five years with the Waratahs as an understudy to Nick Phipps.

"You're represented by how you train and perform and that's really refreshing to hear," Lucas said.

"There's no denying I sat behind Phippsy for a while up in NSW but I don't think anything changes in my mind.

"I pushed up there and got a few starts up there and it's the same down here."