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Ben Mowen confident ACT Brumbies have a succession plan

Departing Brumbies skipper, Ben Mowen.

Departing Brumbies skipper, Ben Mowen. Photo: Getty Images

Departing ACT Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen is adamant the club will benefit from "fresh leadership" when he leaves Australia this week, insisting he moves to France with no regrets.

Mowen is the most capped skipper in Brumbies history, having led the club's Super Rugby revival over the past three seasons.

He has already left Canberra to embark on his three-year deal with French club Montpellier, Mowen's departure coinciding with the Brumbies' director of rugby, Laurie Fisher, accepting a position abroad.

But Mowen said he was confident the Brumbies could go on to win a Super Rugby championship with Stephen Larkham as coach.

"It's definitely the right time for me to go. It's disappointing not to have won the Super Rugby title but I know it's right," Mowen said.

"I honestly believe the Brumbies have the squad to win it in the next few years and I thought we could have won the title this year ... this group deserves it and hopefully I get to witness that from France.

"I don't think [the Brumbies] have to do anything drastically different; it's just about being desperate in the championship moments. They'll be better for it next year."

Mowen was initially a shock choice as skipper in 2012, then-coach Jake White appointing him in his first season at the club. But his leadership was pivotal in the Brumbies' ascent back to the finals.

Larkham will have to choose a suitable replacement, with the most likely candidates hooker Stephen Moore, flanker David Pocock, scrumhalf Nic White and playmakers Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua.

Reluctant to anoint a successor, Mowen said the club was blessed with leaders.

"It will be natural progression ... it forces them to develop leadership for guys like Nic White and Matt Toomua," Mowen said.

"They're going to be big game players and match-winners every week, they'll drive the standard and then there's David Pocock and Stephen Moore.

"The worst thing that can happen is when a leader stays too long, it almost becomes a stalemate underneath. You need fresh leadership eyes, new voices on it and that's why it's good for me to get out now.

"The Brumbies' evolution won't be defined by the performance of one person."

Mowen was an ironman in his three seasons with the Brumbies, missing just two games and becoming the most capped captain in the club's history. It's a massive achievement given the Brumbies' previous captains include Brett Robinson, George Gregan, Stirling Mortlock and Matt Giteau.

"He was a fantastic leader, one of the great captains," Fisher said. "He was good with his message, really well prepared and he knew what he wanted to say. He wasn't always a great player, but he always played well. He never played poorly."

Mowen's decision to quit Australian rugby was a shock, given he'd finally cracked the Wallabies squad and was appointed captain.

It sparked fears of a mass exodus of Australian players to rich French clubs with the ability to offer contracts worth double that of Super Rugby teams.

But Mowen backed the Wallabies to hold on to their stars. He said the NSW Waratahs' grand final appearance and Brumbies resurgence was an indicator of Australian Test success.

"There's a really strong period coming up for Australian rugby ... all the ingredients are there for a successful Wallabies side; it's an exciting period," Mowen said.

"I think there's an exodus happening now, but it's more for the mid-range players who haven't made the Wallabies yet. But the pull of the Wallabies jersey will always be strong ... that will keep guys here."

HuffPost Australia

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
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