Joe Tomane, (centre) and Ruan Smith (red boots and black socks) became entangled during a training session on Wednesday. Photo: Graham TidyThe ACT Brumbies say they won’t get caught in the trap of underestimating the Western Force despite the Perth-based side’s unpredictable form and coach Michael Foley rotating his roster.
And for proof the Brumbies are aiming up, they showed some friendly fire at an intense final training session in Canberra on Wednesday before flying across the country.
The Brumbies will play the Force in Perth on Friday night to start their three-week tour, which includes two games in South Africa.
Most expect the Brumbies to be a title contender this year after winning their opening two games against the Wellington Hurricanes and NSW Waratahs.
However, they are refusing to take their foot off the pedal and back-rower Jordan Smiler says the intense competition for selection is driving the entire squad.
Winger Joseph Tomane and prop Ruan Smith became entangled during a field session, with teammates stepping in to separate the players to cool things down.
It was a fleeting moment that was over almost before it began and the players were all smiles and laughs before flying to Perth.
But the competition for starting XV and bench selection is fierce, with the Brumbies suffering minimal injuries and boasting a host of stars aiming for a championship.
Smiler says the internal battles will help boost title aspirations after making the finals for the past three years but failing to win the competition.
“It’s just the competitiveness of the side, all rugby blokes are competitive and everyone’s pushing for a spot. Tempers are going to flare and you’re going to get that on the field. But it’s all love and respect afterwards,” Smiler said.
“There’s a lot of testosterone flying around and a lot of competition. When you’re that focused on your job and you want to do it well, there’s going to be that real competitive edge there regardless.
“You can’t [take your foot off the pedal], if you get to the finals and come up short there are things you’ve got to change. If that’s the way you train and the intensity, then so be it. You’ve got to train how you want to play.”
The Force drifted dramatically in betting markets on Wednesday afternoon when speculation swirled that they were expected to rest key players from the match.
Foley has shifted scrumhalf Alby Mathewson to the bench with former Brumby Ian Prior getting the No.9 jersey, while hooker Nathan Charles and lock Steve Mafi have also been dropped to the bench.
“It’s a bit of the unexpected, you don’t know what sort of team’s going to turn up on the day,” Smiler said.
The Brumbies will name their team to face the Force on Thursday.
Lock Rory Arnold is set to be recalled to replace Blake Enever, but he won’t get to match up against his 208-centimetre identical twin, Richie, who is yet to make his Force debut.
SUPER RUGBY ROUND THREE
Friday: ACT Brumbies v Western Force at nib Stadium, Perth, 10.05pm (AEDT). TV: Live on Fox Sports 2.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.