Brumbies ready to dazzle
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The Brumbies are done with ‘boring’ the opposition into submission.
After an unbeaten pre-season – in which they disposed of the Waratahs and Rebels – the Brumbies should be brimming with confidence.
However, Wallaby veteran David Pocock played down the past two week’s results and said all that matters is the opening round – when the Brumbies host the Rebels in Canberra on Friday.
Pocock hasn’t played a competitive game since November, but declared himself fit to play in the season opener.
The 30-year-old will slot straight back into the Brumbies team on Friday, after having overcome his neck and calf injuries.
“I’ve got a bit of run in my legs and we’ve been doing a lot of contact so I don’t think a lack of match fitness will be an issue,” Pocock told reporters on Tuesday.
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He made it clear the Brumbies are “not getting ahead of ourselves” after their pre-season double.
“We know the Rebels have a pretty impressive roster [of players],” the 76-times capped loose forward said.
In a World Cup year, the spotlight would be firmly on the Australian Super Rugby franchises to see if they can help lift the Wallabies up from their lowly sixth place on the world rankings.
Pocock said it is a challenge for “everybody” to play well in Super Rugby, but not get ahead of yourself and focus too much on the World Cup.
He said the encounter with the Rebels will be an indication of exactly where the Brumbies are.
“Hopefully seeing the Brumbies play some exciting rugby,” Pocock said, adding that they are determined to draw the crowds back after a couple of lean seasons.
“We’ve been working on our game,” he said, adding: “Last year was tough with new coaches.
“But I think we’re a lot more on top of the way we want to play and we’ve got the players to be able to do that.
“So hopefully we play rugby that inspires young kids to play the game, boys and girls, and hopefully entertains people when they do come down to Canberra Stadium.”
He felt the key for the Brumbies would be to improve the decision-making and the options they take.
Pocock did not feature in either of the pre-season matches, but said he doubts not playing would be an issue as he did enough contact in training.
“It is great to see young guys get a chance,” he said of the pre-season matches.
“You work hard through pre-season as an up-and-coming player and then get out there in Brumbies colours and show what you can do.”
The Rebels will be bolstered by the off-season signing of Quade Cooper and former Brumbies back row forward Isi Naisarani.
“It’s great for Australian rugby to have players like Quade Cooper in the mix and playing,” Pocock said, as the enigmatic playmaker prepares to play his first game in almost two years.
“People love watching him play.
“He’s certainly one of the most talented players I’ve played alongside and against.
“You look at [the Rebels] and they’ve got a lot of depth and experienced players now.”