Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham has named his squad for the 2017 Super Rugby season, as the players returned to training this week.
Larkham will lead a team that is headlined by 13 Wallabies as well as Argentina scrum-half Tomás Cubelli, who returns for a second season.
“We have a good mix of local, interstate and international players in our squad,” Larkham told the Brumbies. “It’s a good mix of experience and youthful energy, and it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to show who we are, why we are here and what we want to achieve.
“Last week we started our pre-season program, and over the next couple of months, leading into our pre-season games in late January, the players will work hard to improve their fitness, develop their skills, find their combination, and become a better team.”
Whilst the Brumbies have named a strong squad for the 2017 season, the acquisition phase is not yet complete with the team still searching for a specialist in the number 10 position.
“It’s no secret that we are still looking at our options around the number ten position,” interim CEO Phil Thomson said.
“The coaching staff have their eye on a number of potential candidates for the upcoming season. Those players will get their opportunities to impress the coaches during pre-season.”
As well as the core group of Australian stars, including Tevita Kuridrani, Scott Sio, Rory Arnold, Scott Fardy, Ben Alexander, Henry Speight, Josh Mann-Rea, Sam Carter, Saia Fainga’a, Anthony Fainga’a, Christian Lealiifano and Allan Alaalatoa, the squad also contains plenty of local talent.
Prop Faalelei Sione from Royals, inside centre Jordan Jackson-Hope (Tuggeranong) and scrum-half Ryan Lonergan (Tuggeranong) have made the step-up to the elite level and will be pushing hard for game time.
Newcomers to the group include the return of the Fainga’a twins to the club where they started their professional career, prop Nic Mayhew from the Blues, full-back Tom Banks (Queensland), flanker Chris Alcock, who joins from the Force alongside highly promising centre Kyle Godwin, who made his Wallabies debut against France on the weekend, and Australian Sevens Star Tom Cusack.
Brumbies squad for 2017
Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Ben Alexander, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Nic Mayhew, Scott Sio, Faalelei Sione, Robbie Abel, Saia Fainga’a, Josh Mann-Rea, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Blake Enever, Tom Staniforth, Chris Alcock, Jarrad Butler, Tom Cusack, Lolo Fakaosilea, Scott Fardy, Ben Hyne, Jordan Smiler, Rob Valetini
Backs: Tomás Cubelli, Ryan Lonergan, Joe Powell, Anthony Fainga’a, Kyle Godwin, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Nick Jooste, Christian Lealiifano, Nigel Ah Wong, James Dargaville, Tevita Kuridrani, Andrew Smith, Henry Speight, Lausii Taliauli, Tom Banks, Aidan Toua