Super Rugby Preview: Brumbies

Date published: February 11 2013

With the new Super Rugby season looming large on the horizon we take a look at each of the 15 competitors. Next up, the Brumbies!

With the new Super Rugby season looming large on the horizon we take a look at each of the 15 competitors. Next up, the Brumbies!

After a breakthrough season in 2012, Jake White's Brumbies will be targeting further success this season, with a certain exciting Wallaby having joined their ranks.

Last Year: It's not unfair to say that before last season's Super Rugby season got going, few gave the Brumbies a hope. Gone were a lengthy list of experienced and talented players including Rocky Elsom, Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper. Yet the “no-name” Brumbies rallied and through exciting young talents like Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight and Michael Hooper managed to finish much higher up the log than many expected. A streak of six wins out of their last seven matches going into the final game of the season left the Brumbies with a great chance to make the playoffs as winners of the Australian conference, but defeat against the woeful Blues at home and the Reds bonus point victory over the Waratahs snatched the opportunity away from them. With those lessons learned by a young side, the same mistakes might not be made in 2013.

This year: One player who is certainly not a “no-name” is David Pocock, the occasional Wallaby captain whose recruitment more than compensates for the loss of Hooper to the Waratahs. Opening games do not come tastier than hosting the Reds and the result will set the tone for the Brumbies season. A three-week schedule of visiting the Sharks and Stormers before hosting the Bulls at home will ultimately decide where their season ends. Visiting the Highlanders and Blues are two more tricky fixtures, whilst hosting the Crusaders could prove to be a landmark game in their season. The challenge awaiting White's side, who now lack the surprise factor of last season, is a big one.

Players to watch: The allure of David Pocock will attract plenty of spectators and his leadership skills will boost the young squad. Stephen Moore is a remnant from the Brumbies glory years who still has plenty to offer, while Clyde Rathbone appears to be edging closer to a remarkable comeback. Elsewhere Nic White, Robbie Coleman and Sam Carter are all rising talents but the pick of the bunch is Jesse Mogg – the elusive full-back has tons of pace and the ability to go all the way.

Noteworthy signings: David Pocock (Force), Clyde Rathbone, Etienne Oosthuizen (Lions),

Noteworthy losses: Cam Crawford (Waratahs), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Jerry Yanuyanutawa (London Irish), Ben Hand (Grenoble).

Prospects: Last season the Brumbies were so raw that nobody really knew what to expect. With that came an impressive campaign, but now the problem is trying to go one better. Battling against “second-season syndrome” and the weight of expectation will be new challenges, not to mention a difficult schedule. As for an outcome, given the resurgence of the Waratahs and competition from the Reds, the Brumbies appear set for another finish outside the playoffs.

16 February: v Reds – Home
22 February: v Rebels – Away
Week 3: Bye
9 March: v Waratahs – Home
16 March: v Sharks – Away
23 March: v Stormers – Away
30 March: Bulls – Home
5 April: v Kings – Home
12 April: v Highlanders – Away
20 April: v Reds – Away
27 April: v Force – Home
5 May: v Crusaders – Home
Week 13: Bye
18 May: v Waratahs – Away
25 May: v Blues – Away
31 May: Hurricanes – Home
7 June: v Rebels – Home
Week 18: Bye
Week 19: Bye
13 July: v Force – Away