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'Me being too emotional': Noah Lolesio puts Carter talk to bed after Brumbies win

Noah Lolesio of the Brumbies passes the ball during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, on February 23, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Admitting his emotions got the better of him last year, a cool and calm Noah Lolesio let his rugby do the talking as he steered the ACT Brumbies to a Super Rugby Pacific season-opening win.


The Brumbies reaffirmed their status as Australia’s strongest side with a 30-3 demolition job on the Melbourne Rebels, whose future in the competition remains in extreme doubt.

Lolesio was key to the victory, outplaying his five-eighth rival Carter Gordon who beat him for a 2023 World Cup berth.

When the teams clashed last year a fired-up Lolesio shouted Gordon’s name as he scored a try, emphasising the battle for higher honours was personal.

But at AAMI Park on Friday night Lolesio, who spent five months with French side Toulon, showed his blossoming maturity.

In a polished display he orchestrated the Brumbies attack, including setting up a try for winger Corey Toole.

“You obviously notice a talent like Carter in the other team but you can’t get caught up in the other person,” 24-year-old Lolesio told AAP.


“Obviously, last year I did that, a carry-on statement by myself, and I apologised to him a few weeks later.

“It was just me being too emotional there but it’s not personal or anything – I think Carter is a great player and he obviously had a great game last year and I thought he played well against us again this time.”


Lolesio said his stint in France had revived his love of rugby after it was dimmed by his interrupted Wallabies career.

Having played 20 Tests since making his debut in 2020, he was overlooked last year entirely by then coach Eddie Jones which he said was “a bit of a hit on me”.


“I’m probably just enjoying rugby more, my time over there and how the French lifestyle is, they sort of care less, if that makes sense,” he said.

“Obviously, they take rugby very seriously but then when it’s time to switch off and get away, they really do that and that’s probably the biggest thing I’d take out of it with my time over there, to just take rugby as it is.

“Just play footy and don’t overthink it.

“And after that, I’m just Noah, I’m not just a rugby player.

“Probably the one thing I’ve wanted to bring in this year is just enjoyment.”

With Joe Schmidt taking over from Jones as Test coach, Lolesi felt it was a fresh start for many players in the Wallabies sphere and hopes he will be judged on his Super Rugby performance.

“It’s a clean slate, not just for myself, for a lot of the boys throughout all the other Aussie clubs as well,” he said.

“I guess performance does the talking at the end of the day.”



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Poorfour 11 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

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