Brumbies concerned with the new-look Force stack with international players even after winless season
Brumbies backrower Tom Cusack hopes the Western Force’s star-studded line-up are still ironing out some kinks when his side heads west for Friday’s Super Rugby AU opener.
The Force have made a statement ahead of their second season back in Australian rugby, recruiting from close to home and across the globe for the five-team domestic competition.
NSW Waratahs prop Tom Robertson and Brumbies and Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani add further starch to a squad that fought hard but went winless in their re-introduction to Super Rugby AU last year.
The Brumbies won last year’s domestic competition but Cusack acknowledges the situation they’re flying into.
“It’s extremely dangerous going over there, with the calibre of players they have but we have a quality bunch as well.
“We’ve been able to build a nice team unity and they’re brought in a star-studded team over a couple of months.
“Whether the cohesion’s there as a team or not we’re still yet to see.
“But with not much sport played and not many restrictions on crowds it’s going to be pretty loud, pretty daunting.”
The squad has been based exclusively within the ACT for the past six weeks to avoid any border restrictions complications.
Some players including captain Allan Alaalatoa even temporarily moved from their homes on the other side of the NSW border to ensure their availability for round one.
“It’s hard not to (think about the risks), especially in Perth when you hear of the cases where you fly over and whilst you’re in the air you hear announcements,” Cusack said of the chance they may be stuck in Perth or in quarantine if there is another COVID-19 outbreak.
“That’s playing in the back of your mind, but you have to remove that and come into your own little bubble as a squad.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now