Brumbies and Force stumble into pre-season hurdle
NEWS: The Brumbies revealed that their Super Rugby AU pre-season trial against the Western Force has been rescheduled to next Tuesday – February 9.
The game was moved, pending the WA side’s ability to travel to the ACT.
The match, originally planned for this Saturday, needed to be shifted due to the Western Australia Government regulations around the current COVID-19 situation in Perth.
The Force has been unable to train since Monday due to the current lockdown in Perth, which is set to end on Friday in Western Australia.
The later date will allow the Western Australia side to fully prepare for what will be both sides only pre-season trial match ahead of their Super Rugby AU round one trial in Perth on February 19.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “We’re no strangers to having to adapt and be flexible and this is another example of having to do just that.”
“The main thing is that we’re able to get a trial in and play some minutes at full noise ahead of the Super Rugby competition kicking off.
“It’s a rare occasion to be able to play a mid-week game and we’re looking forward to seeing as many supporters out at Viking Park as possible next Tuesday.”
The Force’s head of rugby Matt Hodgson said: “Western Force players and staff are following the advice and regulations set out by the WA government.
“We are currently working with several authorities to work out the best scenario for the movement of the team. We have also been in constant dialogue with the ACT Brumbies, Rugby Australia and other relevant organisations and officials.”
It is hardly an ideal preparation for either side given both would go into the opening round of the competition, on February 19, without taking part in a proper trial match.
The Brumbies are set to face the Force in just over two weeks in Perth in the opening round of the competition, but the latest hiccup in the west could derail RA’s plans for round one.
Last year the Force had to play all eight of their matches away from home and lived on the road to ensure the competition stayed afloat.
The team does not want to go through the same again but might be forced to by RA.
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“You’ve got to keep it all open and on the cards,” New RA Chief Executive Andy Marinos said on Monday at his first press conference in the top job.
“Basing themselves in Sydney for a portion of the competition until we’ve got some stability or certainty of borders would certainly have to be considered this time around.
“I don’t think we need to make a decision now. Let’s see how they come out of this lockdown and whether there is any increase in community transmission. We’ll deal with it closer to the time if we have to pull them into Sydney on a more permanent basis.”
* Additional reporting by Sydney Morning Herald