Brumbies win alters Wallabies' Bledisloe camp
July 30, 2013
Brumbies utility forward Peter Kimlin has been brought back to the Wallabies fold despite heading to Europe © Getty Images
The Wallabies will tweak their Rugby Championship training camp to cater for the Brumbies' shock qualification for the Super Rugby final. But that doesn't worry new national coach Ewen McKenzie.
The Brumbies recorded one of their greatest ever wins last Saturday in South Africa when they toppled the Bulls 26-23 at the seemingly impregnable Loftus Versfeld with a last-ditch try.
The victory set up a title decider with defending champions the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday and resulted in the Wallabies altering plans for their upcoming 40-man camp in preparation for the first Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand in Sydney on August 17. The Brumbies boast the most number of players in the Australian squad with 12.
"We'll tweak our camp around that. We've always had that in the back of our mind as a possibility. We can adapt, it won't affect our preparation," McKenzie said. "It's a back scratching exercise. We'll find the best outcome for everyone."
While McKenzie hadn't yet worked out the exact timing of when the camp will start early next week, he said it would only be a minor adjustment and was confident their late arrival would actually assist plans to win back the Bledisloe for the first time since 2002.
"We definitely want to have a presence in the (Super Rugby) final. It's great that they're mixing and flying the flag for Australia," the former Queensland Reds director of coaching said. "It gives us a bunch of guys coming in who are in-form that are match hardened."
While McKenzie remained tight-lipped on the Brumbies players who had improved their chances for a Wallabies jumper in the historic win against the Bulls, he spoke of the exception he made for including France-bound utility forward Peter Kimlin in the squad.
After being left out of the Wallabies squad for four years since his two Tests in 2009, Kimlin was the only player picked who is off to play European rugby at the end of the year. McKenzie is sending the 28-year-old a clear message his services would still be appreciated in Australia ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
"The other guys were all incumbent players in a Test team and they still chose to go," McKenzie said. "He reluctantly decided to leave and when I spoke to him I sensed that."
Follow live text commentary of the Super Rugby semi-final between the Chiefs and the Brumbies on Saturday, August, from 7pm (NZT), 5pm (EST), 7am (GMT)
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14