Brumbies talent will maul Lions
Sydney - The Wallabies are poised to reap the rewards of in-form Brumbies
and Reds players and knock off the British and Irish Lions.
That's the opinion of Brumbies and South African Rugby World
Cup-winning coach Jake White after witnessing the two top teams in Super
Rugby play out an enthralling 19-19 draw at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
In what was described as the highest-quality provincial game
since the 2011 Super Rugby final, the Brisbane classic lived up to the
pre-match hype as the Brumbies maintained their two-point buffer on the
Reds in the competition standings.
Flashes of attacking brilliance were coupled with desperate
defence as the Brumbies hung on despite having 14 men for a quarter of
''There's no reason, when all these players are fit and
available and you pick the best team, why they can't beat the Lions,''
White said. ''It's about making sure the choices are just right. I've
got no doubt the talent is good enough to win that Lions series.''
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans would have loved what he saw as
he cast his eye over a swathof possible candidates for the bumper
three-Test series with the Lions.
Eighteen players from both the Reds and Brumbies were involved in the recent Wallabies logistics camp in Sydney.
George Smith wasn't one of them but the Wallabies great is
looming closer to a fairytale return to the international arena after
meeting with Deans after the game on Saturday night.
The 110-Test veteran wouldn't turn down a chance to take on
the Lions, however nothing can be done until the Australian Rugby Union
makes an approach to his Japanese club, Suntory.
Uncapped international duo Jesse Mogg and Christian Lealiifano again staked their claims for maiden Wallabies jerseys.
Brumbies fullback Mogg showcased his terrific running game and made a crucial try-saving tackle to deny Anthony Fainga'a.
Lealiifano switched seamlessly from inside centre to five-eighth when Matt Toomua left the field with a head knock.
Mogg's only error came with a skewed kick near the end of the
game, which prevented the Brumbies from a last-ditch chance at
It was a far cry from 12 months ago, when Mogg struggled in his first visit to Suncorp Stadium.
''This time last year he was like a deer in headlights and it
was a real turning point in his career,'' White said of Mogg, who he
plucked from Canberra club rugby in 2011.
''The easy thing would have been to take him off, but we left
him on for the 80 minutes so he could learn everything he has to about
how rugby has to be played.
''[Lealiifano] has proved he's worth [Wallabies selection]''.
Brumbies captain Ben Mowen echoed the thoughts of rugby fans across the country when he hoped a finals rematch would take place.
''We'd definitely like to play them again,'' Mowen said.
''When you're playing the best sides, that's what brings the best out of
''The Australian conference is going to go down to the wire.''