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ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher backs Brumby Jack's bid to get on field after being banned by Waratahs

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has weighed into the Brumby Jack debate, calling on NSW Premier Mike Baird to step in to allow the ACT Brumbies mascot on to the field for a Super Rugby blockbuster on Saturday night.

NSW Waratahs officials have banned Brumby Jack from his usual on-field antics during the Brumbies-Waratahs semi-final at Allianz Stadium.

Brumby Jack has been relegated to the stands with the supporters this weekend.

Brumby Jack has been relegated to the stands with the supporters this weekend. Photo: Jay Cronan

Instead of manning the sidelines with the team, Brumby Jack has been forced to buy a ticket and sit in the stands, robbing the crowd of a chance to see him go toe-to-toe with Tah Man.

"Mike Baird strikes me as a very reasonable guy and I would think he would want to see a fair approach to our mascot if Tah Man is going to be allowed on the field as well," Gallagher said on 2GB radio.

"[But] I know he's a Waratahs fan as well so I'm not sure I'm going to get much sympathy with not having Brumby Jack up and down the sideline.

"I can't see how Brumby Jack is going to fit in the chair in the stadium, he's big with his horse head on. I feel sorry for the people who have to sit behind him."

Super Rugby mascots traditionally don't travel to interstate or international matches.

But the Brumbies put in a request for Brumby Jack to make the trip to Sydney for the biggest match in Australia in more than a decade and the first time two Australian teams have met in a final since 2002.

NRL mascots are permitted to travel to any venue around Australia and Reggie the Rabbit will be in Canberra to line up against Victor the Viking for the Raiders' clash against South Sydney on Monday night.

"It seems a bit unreasonable ... I thought Tah Man was being banned as well," Ms Gallagher said.

"It's just a bit of fun police and I can't see any other reason than the Tahs must be a little bit rattled by [Brumby Jack]."

2GB radio host Ben Fordham threw his support behind Brumby Jack.

"Come on, NSW Waratahs, Michael Cheika the coach, please allow Brumby Jack to do his thing," Fordham said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Wednesday  the Brumbies had been guilty of going to great lengths to protect their home-ground advantage.

A spokesman confirmed Tah Man was denied access to Canberra Stadium in 2011, which worked against them when giant NSW second-rower Sitaleki Timani crossed for the match-winning try in the 80th minute.

That fact alone should quell a potential Brumbies supporters' revolt on Saturday. But if not, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie provided another reason to dismiss the controversy as horseplay. McKenzie confirmed the Waratahs had denied sideline access to Brumby Jack in a regular season match during his reign. 

"This debate's actually happened before, so I'm familiar with it," McKenzie said. "Brumby Jack was consigned to the grandstand then, so there's some consistency. He'll do his best from the grandstand. That's what happens when you travel, you don't get all the mod cons."

- with Georgina Robinson

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