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Australian youngster reveals why he rejected Japan for shot at Wallabies

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
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Fresh from confirming his future with Australian rugby, lock Nick Frost says the Brumbies are excited to test themselves against the benchmark Blues before the Super Rugby Pacific finals.

Ahead of their Canberra clash on Saturday, the Blues are runaway competition leaders while the Brumbies currently sit second with two rounds remaining before the top-eight playoffs.

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Aotearoa Rugby Pod | Episode 14
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Aotearoa Rugby Pod | Episode 14

Frost, 22, turned his back on a big-money Japan deal to re-sign with the Canberra side and Wallabies until the end of 2025 in a boost to Australia’s World Cup campaign next year.

Frost was planning to play at Panasonic Wild Knights under former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, but was persuaded to stay by current test mentor Dave Rennie who picked him in the most recent Australian training squad.

Rennie said Frost’s combination of height, at 206cm, and athleticism as a former state sprinter at his Sydney school was rare.

“There was a bit of back and forth but it’s good to get it all worked out in the end and stay in Australia,” Frost said on Friday.

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“Playing for the Wallabies was always a goal … I had a few discussions and some positive feedback and it ended up working out in the end.”

After falling to the Crusaders 37-26 in Canberra last round after an ugly first half, the Brumbies will attempt to bounce back and end the Blues’ run of 11 straight victories.

The Brumbies haven’t dropped two in succession at home since May 2018.

“We’ve been looking forward to this one … they’re the benchmark team in the competition so it’s good to challenge yourself against them,” said Frost, who is ranked second in the competition for lineout steals.

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“We’re pretty keen to test ourselves – it’s a good prelude for the finals down the track.”

The Brumbies have conceded almost double the amount of turnovers as the third-placed Crusaders, and Frost says they know the Blues will make them pay if they rack up similar numbers again.

“We’ve spoken about the amount of turnovers we had and they capitalised on them,” he said.

“We came home with a bit of a wet sail but we can’t really do that against these sides, we need to play for the full 80.

“It’s about having a better start and just executing.

“We want to put in a more complete performance than last week.”

The Brumbies welcome back five-eighth Noah Lolesio, who was sorely missed, while the Blues are resting brothers Akira and Rieko Ioane after they helped hammer the Reds by 27 points.

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