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Pressure on Brumbies after build-up

Reds coaching director Ewen McKenzie.

Reds coaching director Ewen McKenzie. Photo: Getty Images

Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie says the ACT Brumbies have set themselves up for a fall after spending the past seven months working towards one goal - winning their season-opening clash with the Reds at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

The Reds snatched the Australian conference title and a play-off berth from the Brumbies last season and McKenzie said the home side's focus on revenge could make it vulnerable.

''Everything you've read, every second day there's a story about the preparation and how good it's been and they've got their best team out there and all these things we've heard and how long they've been at it - they've set themselves up for, 'it's all or nothing','' McKenzie said. ''We quite like that scenario.''

McKenzie and Brumbies coach Jake White have been sparring in the media this week, with White accusing the Queensland mentor of ''mind games'' by not naming his starting line-up until the 11th hour.

McKenzie did the same thing last year as the play-off race with the Brumbies reached boiling point, the Reds winning that clash 13-12.

McKenzie thought the Reds had done enough to earn favouritism but ACTTAB has the Brumbies as $1.57 favourites.

''We are disappointed [not to be favourites], we've never sought to be the underdog and the bookmakers have made us such,'' McKenzie said.

''We think we've got a pretty good recent record against the Brumbies, and even down here we've got a good record in recent times.''

McKenzie said Quade Cooper had returned from his very brief boxing career fighting fit.

With Brumbies Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano returning for their first games back from injury it should shape as an exciting battle between three playmakers vying for the Wallabies No.10 jersey.

Both Toomua (knee) and Lealiifano (ankle) suffered season-ending injuries last year.

While McKenzie admitted it was a great opportunity for the Brumbies pair to impress Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, it also meant they were under pressure.

''They're both creative players, good players, but it's up to them to deliver, too,'' he said.

''We're confident with where Quade is, they've got to deliver too, so it will be interesting to see who can.''

Last Super Rugby season was a two-horse race between the Brumbies and Reds for top spot in the Aussie conference, but McKenzie was expecting the NSW Waratahs to be pushing for that mantle this year as well.

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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 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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