Rugby Union

Brumbies to be 'different beast' with big name inclusions for Queensland Reds trial

Brumbies fullback Aidan Toua believes their attacking game plan will go to another level with the return of their Wallabies.
Brumbies fullback Aidan Toua believes their attacking game plan will go to another level with the return of their Wallabies. Photo: Les Smith (The Daily Advertiser, Wagga)

ACT Brumbies recruit Aidan Toua says the return of Wallabies and key players will make them a "different beast" and help their attack go up a notch when they play their final pre-season trial against the Queensland Reds at Ballymore on Friday night.

Toua had his first crack at fullback for the Brumbies in their trial loss to the NSW Waratahs on the weekend and with his rival for the No.15 jersey, Robbie Coleman, coming back from a slight calf problem, he could get another chance to impress coach Stephen Larkham.

The former Red, who showed a willingness to join the Brumbies attack at every opportunity, said their timing was slightly off against the Waratahs, but expected the inclusion of co-captains Christian Lealiifano and Stephen Moore, along with David Pocock and Scott Fardy, to help with that.

He said it was looking good for them to be fully firing for their season opener against the Wellington Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium on February 26.

"Those guys are seasoned professionals, they'll probably slip straight back in, provide that bit of leadership that we probably lacked a bit," Toua said.

"If Poey and Fards play this week [we'll] have that presence at the breakdown we probably missed a lot on the weekend.

"Having Christian back this week will make a huge difference, just with his communication ... we'll be a different beast this Friday."

Toua played 10 Super Rugby games for Queensland before spending a season in France.

He said there was no bad blood with the Reds, although he desperately wanted to beat his old mates.

Toua copped a knock to his left shoulder during the trial in Wagga Wagga, but said it was nothing major and expected to be available for selection against Queensland.

He expected Coleman to also come into selection contention with how much running he does this week determining how much game time he would get.

"He might be touch and go, if he's right, he hasn't run in a while, so if he's good he might get 20 or 30 minutes here or there [on Friday]," Toua said.

"But definitely for round one he's a very important member of the squad so hopefully we do have him."

Sevens convert Michael Wells also had his first run for the Brumbies against the Tahs, scoring a try after some nice work from winger Joe Tomane.

Wells joined the Brumbies after helping the Aussie sevens team qualify for this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The back rower was looking forward to working with David Pocock and Scott Fardy with the goal of making his Super Rugby debut this season.

"I want to put pressure on the guys like Fardy and Pocock and hopefully throughout the year I can get a bit more time, get a Super Rugby debut," Wells said.

He was impressed with how Australia played at the Sydney Sevens on the weekend, where they lost the final to New Zealand.

While they didn't win the title, he said it would help springboard them towards claiming a medal ot the Rio Olympics in August.

He also said Brumbies winger Henry Speight looked like he was starting to find his feet.

Wells had no regrets about leaving the sevens program - although he joked that might change if they did win an Olympic medal.

"It's a great start. They probably fielded the strongest team so far in Sydney and with more guys getting experience, playing more tournaments they can keep building from there," he said.

"I don't think this is a one off. I expect to see them in more finals from here ... they've definitely got the talent [to win a medal]."