Brumbies' best go on trial
Brumbies coach Jake White will not be holding back in his team's pre-season build-up, with the franchise primed for a fast start to the season.
Brumbies coach Jake White will not be holding back in his team's pre-season build-up, with the Canberra-based franchise primed for a fast start to the season.
The Brumbies returned to training on Monday after the Christmas and New Year break.
With the glut of pre-season now over the team is focussing on three specific dates.
The Brumbies will travel to Darwin for the February 1 trial, while the ACT XV fixture has been arranged for the following week on February 8.
The Super Rugby kicks off the next Saturday, in Canberra, with the Brumbies taking on the Queensland Reds on February 16.
The annual trip to Darwin for the Defence Housing Australia Top End Trial has begun to take significant shape with White confident he has player selections almost nutted out.
"[Selections] are already made up in my head," the Brumbies' World Cup-winning former Springbok coach said.
"I don't need to hide anything because all the players know we want to best side on the field now for training.
"We don't have time to be swapping jumpers or positions at training.
"We may as well get our side onto the training paddock now to get as much time together between now and the first round," White added.
He said the "exciting" part of pre-season starts now.
"It’s where we start working towards that first competition game against the Reds.
"Things are floating along the way we wanted them to be and although we have a couple of niggling injuries we are certainly on track."
And getting the season off to a fast start is also high on his list of priorities.
"In the first month we've got the opportunity to head the conference again and that means that we've got to put the best side together on the field."
In White's first year at the helm in 2012 the unheralded Brumbies surprised to have a play-off spot in their sights, but were thrashed 36-14 in Canberra by the lowly Blues in their last league match and other results helped end their dream of reaching the knock-out stages for the first time since 2004.