Western Force have set their sights on taking down the Brumbies’ all-Wallabies front row when the two sides lock horns in Sydney on Saturday night.
In contrast, the Force’s trio of Kieran Longbottom, 25-year-old hooker Feleti Kaitu’u, and 22-year-old Angus Wagner have none, with 27-Test Wallaby Greg Holmes ruled out with a broken thumb.
Wagner and Kaitu’u didn’t even have any Super Rugby experience before this year, but they’ve already proven they are no pushovers.
Longbottom has been impressed by what the duo have produced so far, and he’s confident they will hold their own against the Brumbies.
“Their growth has been huge,” Longbottom said.
“The work they did on the weekend against the Reds was massive, and you could just feel the confidence they got out of that.
“It’s a very good front row (the Brumbies have), but we see it as a challenge and an opportunity to prove ourselves.
“It’s a Wallaby front row. So if we can have a great day out against them, we can be super proud of that and set our team up for success.”
The Brumbies are unbeaten after two games, while the Force have suffered tight losses to the Waratahs and Reds.
“He’s been energetic and really helpful,” Longbottom said of Kahui, who won the World Cup with the All Blacks in 2011.
“We had a presentation for his jersey earlier this morning, and you could just see how excited he was to be back in Super footy, to be back with a group as open and welcoming as we are.
“He brings a lot of experience to that backline.”
The Force have lost 10 of their past 11 games against the Brumbies, but Longbottom says the team is confident of causing a boilover.
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