Rugby Union

ACT Brumbies rookie Ben Hyne confident he's ready for Super Rugby call up

Little-known ACT Brumbies recruit Ben Hyne was considering picking up shifts as a barman this month to supplement his earnings and keep his Super Rugby dreams alive.

But the rookie lock will be flying to South Africa instead of pulling beers as he answers a shock Brumbies call up for a two-game tour to kick-start his career.

Ben Hyne was considering working in a bar last month, but now he's on a Super Rugby trip to South Africa.
Ben Hyne was considering working in a bar last month, but now he's on a Super Rugby trip to South Africa. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Hyne has signed a development training contract with the Brumbies after packing his life into a car and driving from Brisbane to Canberra for a chance to chase a deal.

Injuries to Blake Enever and Ita Vaea have opened the door for Hyne to edge closer to a surprise professional debut for games against the Cape Town Stormers and the Free State Cheetahs.

Hyne, who turned 22 last week, is confident he's ready to be thrown into the Super Rugby deep end if needed after training with the Brumbies since November.

"It was definitely a surprise to get the call, but I'm stoked to be going over there," Hyne said.


"I'm lucky enough to get this call ... I've had a great time and it's definitely been worth the move to come down here and take this chance.

"I've always wanted to be a professional footballer and the Brumbies gave me that chance. I'm living that dream at the moment. It's going to be a bit of an eye opener, but I'm definitely looking forward to it."

Ita Vaea is recovering from a finger injury, and will miss the club's trip to South Africa.
Ita Vaea is recovering from a finger injury, and will miss the club's trip to South Africa. Photo: Graham Tidy

The Brumbies have been split in three for the 14-hour trek to Johannesburg and then on to Cape Town.

The forwards flew out of Perth on Saturday night with the backs following on Sunday and then Hyne, Ruan Smith and Michael Wells flying out of Canberra on Monday.

The Brumbies beat the Western Force 31-14 on Friday night to continue a perfect start to the season.

Former Australian sevens player Wells gets his chance to travel after trading an opportunity to play at the Olympic Games for a chance to play with the Brumbies.

Hyne, a 194 centimetre and 105 kilogram second-rower, had been asking Brumbies duo Ben Alexander and Scott Fardy if he could pick up shifts at the bar they own on the Kingston Foreshore to earn some extra money.

The former carpenter put his career on hold last year to move to Canberra to train.

"When my full-time training was about to stop I was thinking of getting behind a bar to earn some money. I guess rugby is my job now," Hyne said.

"I was knocking on [the coaches'] door asking if they see anything in me. I just wanted a bit of a clarity, so I was hoping they'd offer me a contract.

"I've been given my opportunity through a couple of injuries but whenever you get that opportunity you want to impress and give it everything you've got. So that's what I want to do, I'm going to take my chance with everything I've got."

Larkham said: "[Hyne] has been asking us to train and join the team but we haven't had a spot until now.

"He came here for an opportunity, he's really impressed and made a huge impact with his energy."

The Brumbies hope Ita Vaea will be fit in the coming weeks after dislocating his finger while David Pocock is expected to be ready to play against the Stormers despite breaking his nose in the win against the Force.

The Brumbies have won four games in a row to start a season only once in the past 11 years, and they have been buoyed by the memory of beating the Stormers in a Cape Town semi-final last year.

"Cape Town is a hard place to win so we're certainly not getting carried away," Larkham said.