With three rounds remaining and four of the five Australian teams jostling for a top-three spot to advance to the finals, every game is crucial.
Brumbies utility Tom Wright, who along with Waratahs lock Tom Staniforth, announced a contract extension on Tuesday, said the competition leaders were excited to take on the in-form Waratahs, with only three points separating them on the ladder.
NSW are coming into the game on the back of two impressive wins while the Brumbies are planning to rebound from their shock defeat to the Melbourne Rebels.
“They’ve been a shining light in the last two or three weeks,” Wright said of the Waratahs.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 18, 2020
“They’ve changed a few things and are playing a bit more width to width which will challenge us but we’re more than up for it.”
Wright said the Brumbies used last week’s bye to have a “look in the mirror” both individually and collectively, and the team felt they still had plenty of upside.
“We’ve been coming away with some close results but haven’t been playing near to our potential so it’s something we’re really excited about – coming up against a side that’s red hot at the moment,” the 23-year-old said.
Signed as a five-eighth, Wright has found a home this season as a game-busting winger.
He played five games for Manly in the NRL in 2018 before being lured back to rugby and in his second season is said to be in the sights of Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.
Wright said while his contract negotiations stalled due to COVID-19, he had no hesitation in re-signing and was enjoying playing on the flank.
“It’s given me a little bit of roaming licence, not too dissimilar to Tom Banks at 15 and he’s someone I’ve been watching really closely,” Wright said.
Meanwhile, the Rebels confirmed Leichhardt Oval as their “home” ground for their round nine match against the Waratahs on August 29.
They had hoped to play a match in Melbourne but coronavirus restrictions in Victoria mean the Rebels will return to Sydney’s inner-west venue where they’ve won twice this season.
– Melissa Woods
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