Valetini, Naisarani building Brumbies engine room

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

In Rob Valetini and Isi Naisarani, the Brumbies have a yin and yang duo ready to take Super Rugby by storm.

The backrow pair are both destructive ball carriers but they are effective in their own ways, chewing up valuable metres with every carry.

Naisarani is an agile, athletic customer that uses his speed and high powered leg drive to bust tackles.

Valetini, on the other hand, uses brute force and acceleration off the mark to leave defenders on the back foot.

It's a powerful combination which coach Dan McKellar employed in Wednesday's trial against the Chiefs - one which will only get better with time.Isi Naisarani is shaping as a significant pickup for the Brumbies. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"I think he wants big carries out of everyone - he is pretty old school," Valetini told RUGBY.com.au on Wednesday night.

"He wants tough runners and he wants us to be really tough through that contact.

"We always want to be backing each other.

"Once one of us has done that hard carry the other needs to take the next one and vice versa.

"That's a big focus for us moving forward."

Both Naisarani and Valetini took some time to work into the clash with the Chiefs but once they did, the pair looked a formidable combination.The Brumbies pack was no match for the Chiefs in the first half of Wednesday's trial. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe same could be said for the entire Brumbies team, who made a fist of the match after trailing 33-7 early in the second term.

"We didn't start off well - I think we need to pick it up straight away," Valetini said.

"We started off bad and we slowly got into it but that's definitely a work on for us - we need to get into the game and get going straight away, rather than waiting until the second half.

"We let the game get away from us and you can't do that against a team like the Chiefs."

Valetini is all but assured of a Super Rugby debut come round one against the Sunwolves and the 19-year-old is still finding the whole experience a touch surreal.Valetini took the NRC by storm last year. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"It's still surreal just being in this environment," he said.

"Even just playing the Chiefs and seeing all the All Blacks on their team sheet - I'm now starting against these guys.

"I can't wait to get stuck in to Super Rugby and go hard.

"It's always good to see where you're at after the preseason and I'm really keen for the real games to get started."

The Brumbies kick off their Super Rugby season against the Sunwolves in Tokyo on February 24 at 3:15pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.