The ACT-based Brumbies have had a winning but tumultuous start to the year after being impacted by bushfire smoke, hail storms, mumps and now coronavirus.
The week six fixture against the Sunwolves was relocated from Osaka due to coronavirus concerns in Japan, while Brumbies players were quarantined after a mumps outbreak last month.
The Brumbies have overcome their distractions to be top of the Australian conference but skipper Allan Alaalatoa said they’ll have to work to stay there.
“We’ve spoken a lot about being resilient, something has happened nearly every week with a new challenge but you’ve just got to adapt,” Alaalatoa said.
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“In the first four-week block we’ve overcome some battles as a team and that’s just a testament to the way the boys are and how tight we are as a group.
“We’ve got to go out there and put in a good performance and make sure we put all the distractions aside and just get the result.
“We’re expecting anything from the Sunwolves, they’re a side that has so much spark in their backline and are always physical in the forward pack.”
Alaalatoa said the next six-week block would define their season and he was looking forward to playing against former teammate Ben Hyne.
Hyne was on the Brumbies’ books for four years but didn’t play in the past two seasons as he was plagued by injuries.
He’ll play his first Super Rugby game since 2017 on Friday.
“Hyney is a quality team man. To lose him was sad, he had a bad run of injuries but he would always do everything for the team where he could,” Alaalatoa said.
“The Sunwolves have gained a quality person on and off the field and what a story it is for him to make his comeback against us.
“When he was fully fit he was putting shots on everyone at training.
“Another opportunity has arisen for him and I know he’s itching to get out there.”
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