Extra Wallabies camps and resting stars are just realities of life in a Rugby World Cup year, Brumbies lock Sam Carter says.
Most of Australia’s Wallabies players have been in Sydney for a fitness camp this week, ensuring they’re up to speed for when they return to their states despite starting preseason later than their teammates.
Carter said their absences were simply a reality of life in a World Cup year, with the success of the Wallabies the number one priority for everyone.
“We need to make a couple of concessions this year because obviously it’s a World Cup year and everyone’s wanting Australian rugby to do well,” he said.
“If they need camps we’re going to have to allow that and it just means the younger guys are going to have to step up in place of the blokes who aren’t here.”
Carter said the side had also spoken about the prospect of national players being rested with the World Cup in September and the need for every new face to be ready to step in.
The four Super Rugby teams made a formal agreement in December last year which is believed to extend to resting Wallabies players on request, something that hasn’t occurred in the past.
The Brumbies were part of a dispute with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika in June last year over a request to rest David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa from a Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves.
It was a debate the club ultimately won but in 2019, there will be more organisation around that.
“We mentioned it the other day that there could be some blokes rested throughout the year so if you are called upon and if you’re selected for that week you need to be ready to go,” Carter said.
“That’s the healthy competition we want to breed down here, so if anyone gets their opportunity they’re ready to step up and take it.”
Fellow Brumbies veteran Christian Lealiifano echoed Carter’s confidence in the Wallabies group to jump straight back into provincial training when they returned.
“Those guys have been around the system for a long time,” he said.
“The guys that have been here so far definitely have created a lot of depth and I think competition has been the biggest thing here, competing for positions.
“The boys are definitely working hard and training hard.
“It’s been good to see – you sort of have a rough idea of your starting side but at this stage it’s all up for grabs.”
The Brumbies play their first Super Rugby trial on Saturday January 26 against the Rebels at Viking Park.