Jake expecting the unexpected
Canberra - Jake White has returned from his trip to Japan refreshed and
reinvigorated and is warning his inexperienced Brumbies to brace for
a Test-like atmosphere on Tuesday.
The Brumbies will throw a young line-up into the spotlight for a
mid-week tour clash with Six Nations champions Wales at Canberra
Even Brumbies coach White admits he doesn't know what to expect.
But he's keen to use the match to see if his fringe players are capable of making the step into Super Rugby.
With Super Rugby in the middle of a three-week bye, White went to Japan
last week to work with former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and club NTT
''I had a chat to Eddie and he said the thing he enjoyed about coaching
the Brumbies was being able to get away to talk different rugby to
different people,'' White said.
''It's experimenting and sharing new ideas that restimulates you and
reinvigorates you to come back and get going again. That's exactly what
it was like for me.''
The Brumbies' finals hopes are on hold until the season resumes with a match against the Western Force on June 30.
They have eight players in camp with the Wallabies and White will join
them after the Brumbies take on Wales. The Brumbies have twice beaten Wales
before when they toured Canberra in 1978 and 1996.
Veteran lock Ben Hand - who has played just one game this season - will
captain a side featuring seven players yet to make their Super Rugby
Tuggeranong Vikings prop JP Pradaud and team-mate Beau Mokotupu will sit
on the bench after being rewarded for strong seasons in the John I Dent
Former Australian Under-20s players Siliva Siliva and Kimami Sitauti
will play their first games for the Brumbies since joining the club.
With winger Joseph Tomane suffering an ankle injury last week, Sitauti, Tom Cox and Cam Crawford are all vying to replace him.
''I've signed a lot of players, but I haven't seen them actually out there playing,'' White said.
''Because we've been going well and through certain circumstances, we
haven't been able to rotate, so I want to see these guys at the next
''I don't know what to expect and that's quite nice, it's exciting.''
Powerful back-rower Ita Vaea will get his chance to unleash some Tongan
aggression against the tourists. Vaea played every match for the
Brumbies last season, but he has played a more versatile role this year
with Fotu Auelua and Ben Mowen filling the No 8 duties.
The 23-year-old is relishing the chance for extended game time.
''I'm pretty keen, there's been a lot of training and I've been putting a lot of energy in the tank,'' Vaea said.
''It's going to be a massive game and the boys are all excited to play.
''It hasn't been frustrating, I just come off the bench and try to give a bit of inspiration to the boys and lift them up.
"The team has been going well and I'm happy I've got the opportunity to play an international team."