Brumbies eye S14 title
Sydney - First there were the latest recruits, then there was a new-look outfit and now Stephen Hoiles has put the rest of the Super14 on notice: the Brumbies want the title badly.
The Brumbies skipper will lead a star-studded line-up into the 2010 season and the squad is already bubbling with exciting possibilities.
But Hoiles knows returning to Super rugby supremacy won't be easy and he wants a steely resolve instilled in every player.
"We're expecting big things from this side next year," Hoiles said.
"But just by having a good list and expectation, it doesn't mean you can be complacent. We'd be fools to think that just by signing some players and finishing in the top half of the comp last season is going to win us the competition in 2010.
"We've got to do a lot of work, we have to be smart about it and understand how we want to play, and I think we're on track to doing that."
Hoiles, Justin Harrison and Guy Shepherdson on Monday officially launched a new-look, no-collar Brumbies strip for the 2010 season.
The jersey still features the Brumbies crest on the right with "Canberra" emblazoned underneath to give the team a strong link to the capital.
Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan hoped the new jumper would signal a new era for his club.
"I think this new jersey with the [ACT] coat-of-arms will be welcomed by the community," Fagan said.
"This is our home, we play for this city, we live here and, to have it for the first time on jersey, I think it will be really well received."
The Brumbies have added Matt Giteau, Rocky Elsom, Josh Valentine and Harrison to a squad already oozing talent.
However, the team's Wallabies representatives will not return to training until early January, leaving time for limited preparation.
Injuries and representative duties mean the Brumbies will not have a full complement of players available until after Christmas.
Hoiles was one of a few players forced to sit out the majority of pre-season training as he recovered from a hamstring tear. It wasn't until last Monday that he started running again after initially tearing the muscle from the tendon at a Wallabies training session in October.
Despite the new season fast approaching, Hoiles was confident he would be ready to open the team's 2010 season on February 12 against the Force.
"No one likes them, but you've got to deal with it and I've taken some positives out of it as well, I got it at a good time of year," Hoiles said.
"Sure, it happened in a Wallabies camp, but if I had done it in January you probably would have been lucky to see me playing a game for the Brumbies [next year]."
The Brumbies finish their first lot of pre-season training on Sunday.
They return to the training on January 4 before playing a pre-season game against the Hurricanes on January 29.