Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar said earlier this year that he would back the young players at the franchise to replace the departing Christian Lealiifano, who will be heading to Japan to play for NTT Communications Shining Arcs after the Rugby World Cup.
The side already had Mack Hansen, Bayley Kuenzle and Noah Lolesio on the roster with all three capable of playing at fly-half, although Hansen can also operate at full-back and Lolesio has played much of his recent rugby at inside centre. The Brumbies added to their stocks by securing the signing of much-coveted schoolboy fly-half Reesjan Pasitoa from Nudgee College.
The youth movement has not been limited to the number 10 jersey, either, with Nick Frost having been snapped up from the Crusaders’ development pathway. The Australian lock had an impressive season with the Junior Wallabies and will help make up for the losses of Rory Arnold and Sam Carter to France and Ireland respectively.
The latest addition comes in the form of Lachlan Albert, a schoolboy scrum-half who played alongside Pasitoa for the Australian Schools team last year and who is set to graduate from Riverview College this year.
Albert has signed a three-year contract with the Brumbies and will compete with Joe Powell, Ryan Lonergan and Matt Lucas for a spot in the franchise’s 2020 Super Rugby squad. Although game time may be limited initially, McKellar will be hoping that Albert and Pasitoa can rekindle their chemistry from the Australian Schools team and help form the long-term spine of the Canberra side.
“I’m so excited by the prospect of moving to Canberra to join the Brumbies,” Albert said of his signing. “It has been a dream of mine to be given an opportunity like this and it’s humbling to know that the Brumbies are supporting me in working towards becoming the best player I can be.
“After watching the Brumbies campaign this year and becoming familiar with the positive environment they have created, it clearly speaks for itself, and I am beyond excited that I get to grow as a rugby player and a person with them.”
Brumbies General Manager, Professional Rugby & Pathways, Chris Tindall welcomed Albert joining the Brumbies. “Our coaches were very impressed by Lachlan both in his playing ability potential and his character in his desire to learn and drive to work hard to be the best he can be.
“We are pleased to have Lachlan join our Brumbies Academy Development Programme to work with him, along with our local Academy players, to help them develop towards playing Super Rugby with the Brumbies and for the Wallabies.”
The Brumbies will also have standout Australia U20 hooker Lachlan Lonergan on their roster next season, with the post-Rugby World Cup exodus of players set to create plenty of opportunities for youngsters at the franchise, who topped the Australian conference last season and have made the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons.
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