Auelua won't go easy
Brumbies' Fotu Auelua in action against the Melbourne Rebels in April. Photo: Getty Images
HE'S A CLUB rugby player's worst nightmare and Fotu Auelua has no intention of easing off when he runs on for Wests in the John I Dent Cup tomorrow.
It took just 30 seconds for Auelua to impose himself on Canberra's premier division when he knocked out an opponent on his first run in his first game.
And with his rivals already dreading the thought of tackling the Samoan monster, Auelua has vowed to bring his Super Rugby aggression to ANU Oval.
Brumbies backrower Fotu Auelua will play in the John I Dent Cup for Wests this weekend during the break in Super Rugby. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
''You don't want to go out there and hurt anyone, but if you think too lightly of the competition or the opposition you might get hurt in return,'' Auelua said.
''I try not to think lightly of any game … you never want to be in a mind frame that you think you're just going to go out there and smack some guy.
''I always try to take it as any game I play in Super Rugby and this is going to be a good build-up for the last three games of the season, so I'll definitely be taking it seriously.''
In a major boost for the club competition, every available Brumby who is not injured or with the Wallabies will line up for their allocated teams.
Brumbies coach Jake White ordered his players to commit to Canberra teams when he took over the reins.
The skeptics thought it was an empty promise.
But the squad's fringe players have been regularly lining up and the Super Rugby members will join them this weekend.
Wests will benefit the most. Until now they've only had their Brumbies representatives in trial matches.
However, they will unleash Auelua, Jesse Mogg and Peter Kimlin against the Uni-Norths Owls.
It's been a whirlwind three weeks for Mogg.
After winning a Brumbies contract with impressive performances for Wests, Mogg has played every match this season and was rewarded for his stellar form with Wallabies squad selection last month.
''Moggy has been a Westy boy for quite a while and to have him backing up this weekend is an awesome prospect for the club,'' Auelua said.
''I know when I was playing in Sydney, when the guys come back from Super Rugby you try to prove yourself against them and there's no doubt it will be the same here.
''If you're not ready to compete you shouldn't be playing and that's a positive way to approach it.''
The return to the club ranks will pit Brumbies teammates against each other.
With 20 players unavailable or injured from the Brumbies' 35-man squad, 15 will line up for their respective Canberra teams.
For lock Sam Carter, it will be his first match since the Brumbies' loss to the Queensland Reds.
The break has reinvigorated the 22-year-old in his debut Super Rugby campaign. Now he will suit up for Royals against the Queanbeyan Whites at Campese Field.
Less than a year ago, Carter was preparing for the Shute Shield grand final for Sydney University.
The level of the first grade competition in the capital isn't at the same standard.
But Carter will face a significant challenge against two of the Brumbies' lineout technicians in Leon Power and Anthony Hegarty.
Carter and Power have teamed up in the Brumbies' second row this year, while Hegarty is the back-up hooker.
''I won't have an edge in the lineout until I can figure out the calls, but I'm looking forward to jumping against Leon and Hegs,'' Carter said.
''I'm expecting the standard to be quite good and it will be tough because I haven't played for two weeks.
''Absolutely I think guys will be gunning for us and I think they do that each week.
''I'm looking forward to taking on the other Brumbies boys as well.''