Brumbies solely focussed on Tahs

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:40
Large josh mann rea

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea shifts his focus to the Waratahs, despite the ongoing uncertainty which surrounds the new format of the Super Rugby competitions.

SANZAAR have been debating to trim down the competition from the current 18 teams to either 15 or 16 with sides from Australia and South Africa set to be axed.

With the Brumbies being one of those who could be cut, hooker Mann-Rea admitted it is ineffective to focus on that possibility and emphasised the decision lies with SANZAAR.

"It is completely out of our hands, the decision lies with SANZAAR. Our focus is just in playing good rugby, put in a good performance on the pitch and try to win the conference this year.

"The five-team formula is good for Australian rugby, but in the end, it is not our decision," Mann-Rea said.

The Brumbies are currently on top of the Australian conference after recording their first win against the Western Force last week and are keen to continue building on the success against the Waratahs, who return fresh from two defeats in South Africa.

"It is always good to be on top of the log. It's very close we are tied with the Reds and Waratahs are just behind us so there is not much in it, but it is always good being on top of the conference and coming from a win is great.

"We have to keep in mind that the Waratahs are going to be fired up especially coming from two losses down in South Africa. This is always a special weekend -  it's the local derby.  

"Training is a bit more physical and everybody is a bit more amped up," he added.

Wallabies prop Scott Sio is in line to make a comeback from a hamstring injury while flank Scott Fardy is expected to return to the fold after being rested for the 25-17 win over the Force.

The return of Fardy means that Queensland-born Ben Hyne has to work extra hard to retain a spot in the squad for his first Waratahs clash.

"I've never been part of the Tahs' week, but hearing how the guys talk about its amazing.

"The preparations ahead of the game just get intense which urges me to prove that I'm worthy of the starting position none the less it is all up to [head coach Stephen Larkham]," Hyne said.

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28