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Reds rag doesn't irk White

Brumbies coach Jake White at training on Thursday.

Brumbies coach Jake White at training on Thursday. Photo: Graham Tidy

It is being billed as the rivalry between Australia's best teams but it is turning into a war between masterminds as Jake White and Ewen McKenzie continue to trade jibes before the Super Rugby opener.

And ACT Brumbies coach White believes the Reds are in a ''position of weakness'' after McKenzie refused to reveal his line-up for the clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

White accused McKenzie of trying to play mind games with his side earlier this week and the Reds coach didn't disappoint when he named a 23-man squad instead of a starting side for the round-one match.

McKenzie openly admitted naming a squad was part of a plot to distract the Brumbies.

White contemplated naming a 24-man squad before he saw an opportunity to seize an advantage.

''If that's how they [the Reds] pick their team, then that's fantastic for them,'' White said.

''I remember sitting here last year and saying about the Sun Tzu book [The Art of War] says if you react to your opposition you're in a position of weakness.

''We've got our team, we know exactly what we're going to do and if they haven't decided what they're going to bring, good luck to them.

''They can bring 47 people and decide at the last minute who the XV are, so be it.

''That's the style they have, it suits them. Good luck to them, what gives us confidence is every boy knows the team … it's nothing to hide. At the end of the day it's about getting out there and doing it now.''

The Brumbies and Reds have built a strong rivalry over the past three years.

After the Brumbies dominated the contests in the first 14 years of Super Rugby - they lost just one game - the Reds have won three of the past four matches between the teams.

The Reds won both matches last season, but had Zack Holmes slotted a penalty after the siren in May, the Brumbies would have retained the Rod Macqueen Cup.

McKenzie, a former Brumbies prop, is no stranger to trying to break a Canberra hoodoo.

When he was coach of the NSW Waratahs, he wanted the team to embrace the trip to the capital to end their poor record in the ACT.

The Waratahs bus was parked outside Brumbies headquarters in Griffith and in front of the War Memorial to announce his team's arrival.

But the Brumbies are refusing to be ruffled by the pre-match banter between the two coaches - White a World Cup winner and McKenzie a Super Rugby titleholder.

Despite struggling against the Reds in the past three seasons, the Brumbies are favourites to win the match and get their season off to a strong start.

It is a tag that was unheard of last season as White began his mission to rebuild the Brumbies with players most fans had never heard of.

While McKenzie says his team doesn't deserve to be the underdog, favouritism sits comfortably with the young Brumbies.

''The Reds won [the title] three years ago and knocked us off three times last year [including a trial match], but this is a perfect opportunity for us in the first round,'' ACT second-rower Sam Carter said.

''We're just focusing on what we need to do to win the game, not who's the favourite.

''If you want to win the competition you've got to do well against other teams in your conference and this is a perfect opportunity to do that at home.''

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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 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
View all

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