Rugby Union

Brumbies get clearance from Argentinian board to sign scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli

The ACT Brumbies' search for an experienced scrumhalf to replace Nic White appears to be over, with Argentinian No 9 Tomas Cubelli getting the green light to join the Canberra franchise.

Tomas Cubelli will play his first match with the ACT Brumbies on Saturday night.
Tomas Cubelli will play his first match with the ACT Brumbies on Saturday night. Photo: Steve Haag

Cubelli has received a clearance from the Argentinian rugby board, but still needs to finalise contract details with the Brumbies.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said the club was getting close to securing Cubelli for next season.

"Tomas Cubelli has been cleared by the Argentinian rugby union to play for the Brumbies, it's now in the final stages of negotiations with his manager," Larkham told ABC Radio Canberra.

"He's a very competitive halfback and someone I think will fit the mould of the Brumbies very well.

"We haven't got his signature on paper, but we're in the final stages of negotiations and he's going to be part of the Argentinian World Cup squad."

Fairfax Media reported this month the Brumbies were in discussions to bring Cubelli to Canberra.

The 26-year-old plays for Belgrano Athletic in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

The Brumbies came close to landing All Blacks No.9 Andy Ellis, but the Canterbury Crusaders scrumhalf opted to remain in New Zealand.

Cubelli has played 38 Tests for the Pumas and played a vital role in their upset of South Africa this month.

"He will be good," Larkham said.

"He's obviously played at the top level and played well at the top level, recently playing a game in South Africa where Argentina won that game for the first time in history.

"He's got good experience at that next level."

With White joining French club Montpellier — once his Wallabies campaign ends — Cubelli would provide valuable experience to complement scrumhalves Michael Dowsett and Joe Powell, who are 23 and 21 respectively.

The Brumbies are also getting closer to retaining Wallabies openside flanker David Pocock to a contract extension.

Pocock is keen to remain in Canberra, but the sticking point has been the Australian Rugby Union's part of the deal.

"We're still waiting on the final paperwork there," Larkham said.

"We're a lot closer than we were two weeks ago.

"But like any negotiation, until you get that signature on the dotted line, we're not going to announce anything."

Larkham said the Brumbies have also made an offer to former outside back Andrew Smith, with negotiations still taking place.