Rugby Union

Brumbies name Matt Toomua captain for NSW Waratahs trial

ACT Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua will captain the club for the first time in Saturday's trial against the NSW Waratahs at Wagga Wagga.

Matt Toomua will captain the Brumbies in Saturday's trial against the Waratahs at Wagga Wagga.
Matt Toomua will captain the Brumbies in Saturday's trial against the Waratahs at Wagga Wagga. Photo: Graham Tidy

It will be the first time the 26-year-old will lead the Super Rugby province and even though it's only for a pre-season trial, he said it would still be a "special moment".

The Brumbies are resting co-captains Stephen Moore and Christian Lealiifano, as well as senior players David Pocock and Scott Fardy.

"Even though it is a trial match it's quite a special moment for me if I'm being honest, so pretty cool," Toomua said.

"It's not something you work towards consciously, it's just a result of other things and I think in a way I'm the last man standing with the other guys not playing this weekend, but I'll take it."

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It's Toomua's last season with the Brumbies before he begins a three-year deal with English club Leicester.

That last season could see the return of running rugby to the nation's capital, albeit via Wagga Wagga.

Toomua said the teams winning the Super Rugby competition recently were playing an attacking brand of football and it was something they were looking to unleash this season.

He said they would work on their unstructured play this weekend against the Waratahs.

"You've got to be honest and the teams that have won the comp the last few years have run a lot," he said.

"The Highlanders always had a very strong kicking game as well, but were characterised by the way they run the ball, and the Hurricanes and obviously the Tahs.

"For us we've been in and around that area, that's probably been something that hasn't been as good as it can be.

"We have changed a lot of our attacking structure ... with the idea we do want to attack a lot more.

"Everyone promises a lot this time of year, but we've genuinely been working on a bit."

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is yet to decide whether Toomua or Christian Lealiifano will play flyhalf this season.

With Lealiifano having the weekend off, Toomua gets first crack.

The trial will also be his first game in the No.10 jersey for quite a while. He played at inside centre when he returned from injury during the Super Rugby season last year and mostly came off the bench for the Wallabies during the World Cup.

"You go into every game wanting to play well, but I'm not looking to do that just so I can keep the 10 jersey by any means," Toomua said.

"Both have their roles in the team for certain reasons. Whether I am playing 10 or 12 — we aren't sure yet."

ACT Brumbies: Aidan Toua, Lausii Taliauli, Andrew Smith, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Nigel Ah Wong, Matt Toomua, Tomas Cubelli, Ita Vaea, Jarrad Butler, Jordan Smiler, Sam Carter, Tom Staniforth, Ben Alexander, Josh Mann-Rea, Allan Alaalatoa. Reserves: Albert Anae, Robbie Abel, Leslie Leuluai'ali'i-Makin, Ruan Smith, Rory Arnold, Blake Enever, Ben Hyne, Michael Wells, Joe Powell, Michael Dowsett, Nick Jooste, Joe Tomane, Jake Rakic, Tevita Kuridrani, James Dargaville, Isaac Thompson.