Date: July 21 2012
Jake White will enforce his hardline stance on keeping his players in Canberra's premier club competition next weekend and ACT Brumbies leaving the capital are still expected to suit up in the John I Dent Cup until the end of the season.
The Brumbies' Super Rugby campaign came to an unexpected halt when they lost to the Auckland Blues last weekend.
Coach White has given his players 10 days of rest, but they will return to Brumbies headquarters on Wednesday and play for their allocated clubs in the first-grade competition next Saturday. That includes departing winger Cam Crawford who signed a two-year deal with the NSW Waratahs this week.
Crawford has been playing with the Gungahlin Eagles, but he had hoped to return to Norths in Sydney's top grade.
However, his Brumbies contract doesn't expire until September.
White has no problem with Crawford continuing to train with the Brumbies and playing for Gungahlin until the end of the club season. The pair will meet next week to discuss Crawford's immediate future and White wants to continue his mission to boost the level of rugby in Canberra.
''The bottom line is boys are expected to honour their contracts until they end and it ends in September,'' White said.
No Brumbies will be in action when round 15 begins today.
But captain Ben Mowen will play his first match for the Tuggeranong Vikings next weekend despite being selected in the Wallabies squad.
The majority of his teammates who are not injured or recovering from surgery are expected to join him.
When White joined the Brumbies, he made the decision to keep his players in the Canberra competition rather than have them run around in Sydney. The players were divided up between the clubs.
Mowen will join the Wallabies in camp next week, but with the Rugby Championship still a month away, the Brumbies players in camp will return to the capital on the weekends to play.
White will watch John I Dent Cup games and club players will have a chance to impress the Brumbies mentor.
White has two spots available on his full-time roster for next year.
It is hoped one of those will be filled by David Pocock while the other is open and there are five extended player squad (EPS) deals up for grabs.
White put his faith in Wests fullback Jesse Mogg after watching him play in the premier division last year and the 23-year-old repaid him with some sparkling performances.
Scott Fardy was plucked from obscurity to join the ARU-funded EPS and developed into a star player.
Four of the Brumbies' five EPS played Super Rugby, with Anthony Hegarty and Scott Sio now regular members of the top team.
''I'm not rushing with any decisions, I'm happy to take a guy who might have missed the boat but has something inside him burning,'' White said.
''If a guy plays well in the local comp, I'll take him. I'd much rather get a guy who wants to have a crack than a guy who just expects it to happen.''
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