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Rocks to diamonds

Jesse Mogg of the Brumbies scores  during the Super Rugby trial match against  the ACT XV.

Jesse Mogg of the Brumbies scores during the Super Rugby trial match against the ACT XV. Photo: Getty

They were the ‘‘bunch of duds’’ everybody had written off but Joseph Tomane insists the previously unknown Brumbies are ready to lift the club back to the top of Super Rugby.

Jake White ushered in a new generation of players when he took over the coaching reins last season.

The plethora of Test stars disappeared and the South African took a punt on a group of untested players to rebuild the club.

It was blind faith. Even most Brumbies fans were asking who is Scott Fardy, Jesse Mogg, Tomane and Sam Carter.

They were blokes on the fringe of Australian rugby trying to make a name for themselves and desperate to take any opportunity thrown their way.

Lucky for them, White thought they were worth the risk and he threw them in the Super Rugby deep end.

Now, Tomane and co want to repay the faith and prove they’re not oneseason wonders.

Tomane – who made the jump from the NRL to rugby union – started the year hoping he could secure a spot on the Brumbies bench by the end of the season. And finished with a Wallabies cap and being crowned the newcomer of the year.

‘‘No one gave us a chance [last year], everyone just wanted to prove the people outside the squad wrong,’’ Tomane said.

‘‘Outside of the ACT everyone thought we were just a bunch of duds put together.

‘‘I guess that was some motivation for everyone to prove the doubters wrong and it all started with our training and being really determined.

‘‘And the guys we’ve got in the squad don’t want to live on past performances and what happened last year.

‘‘We want to show we’re not just going to have one great season and then get lost, we want to show we can do it on a regular basis.

‘‘It didn’t surprise me, because I could see them in training and I knew we could be something special.’’

The Brumbies won’t have the luxury of being the unknown factors this year.

They set the standard in being the fittest team in the competition last year. But now opposition teams are preparing the same and they’ll arrive in Canberra prepared to fight.

That doesn’t faze the Brumbies.

They’re well aware of the challenges they face in year two of White’s four-year plan to get to the top.

The majority of the squad now has at least 10 games to their name.

This season the squad boasts almost double the amount of experience than the one which started the 2012 campaign.

The Jake White era began with 486 Super Rugby appearances in his squad. Now there’s 840.

Lock Fardy played every game last year despite being one of the last players to be signed on an extended player squad contract.

Despite being 28, he hadn’t played a Super Rugby match until round one last year. Now he’s viewed as a vital cog in the Brumbies’ forward pack.

‘‘Nothing changes for me this year, I don’t think you can afford to change anything. I’ve got to have the same attitude that I’ve always had,’’ Fardy said.

‘‘I knew if I got a shot I could make a good go of it, but up until last year I didn’t get a shot.

‘‘It showed last year that if you’re playing well, Jake will pick you and that has to be our mentality for this year again.

‘‘I don’t look at it like rocks to diamonds, I just look at it like I’m there to help the boys. Everyone knows what is expected for us this year.’’

White used all but one of his  five extended squad players last season.

Fardy, Jesse Mogg, Anthony Hegarty and Scott Sio all got the chance to shine while Dylan Sigg couldn’t break into the game-day squad.

This year it’s Ruan Smith, Mark Swanepoel, Stephan van der Walt, Josh Mann-Rea and Jordan Smiler who can rise from obscurity.

‘‘Every day I pinch myself and think of how lucky I am to play rugby for a living,’’ Mogg, who was plucked from Canberra’s club competition, said.

‘‘I was studying and playing club footy 18 months ago ... we didn’t know each other and we didn’t know where or how we would fit in.

‘‘This year it’s more about execution and we’re working towards a goal as a team.’’

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all
 

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