Rugby Union


Super Rugby: Matt Hawke to use inside knowledge against Brumbies

Matt Hawke wants to use everything he has learnt from the ACT Brumbies during the pre-season to bring about their downfall in their trial hit-out against an ACT XV at Viking Park on Saturday.

The 27-year-old electrician has spent the last two pre-seasons training with the Brumbies as he pushes for a spot in Super Rugby.

The Brumbies will name their team on Thursday for their last official trial match. They will unleash a near full-strength line-up; eight Wallabies will play in their first game of the year.

Japanese recruit Harumichi Tatekawa will get his chance at inside-centre, while skipper Ben Mowen will return in the No.8 jersey.

Brumbies and Wallabies captain Mowen has re-signed with the Canberra franchise for this year's campaign after negotiating a deal where he will leave Australian rugby at the end of the year.

Hawke played a half for the Brumbies in their trial against the Highlanders in Queenstown on Friday and was part of the province's successful world club sevens campaign in London last year.


The Gungahlin Eagles No.12 is one of several hopefuls who played for the Brumbies against the Highlanders, but will play for the ACT XV on Saturday.

Possible Australian under-20s captain Tom Staniforth, Tim Cree, and Michael Smith will also make the switch and attempt to beat the Super Rugby grand finalists.

Hawke said his skills had ''doubled'' since he started working with the Brumbies' squad under coach Stephen Larkham.

But he wants to use Larkham's knowledge to help the ACT XV to a win, which in turn could help him get on to a Super Rugby list.

''You get to read the players, read the plays, know how [the Brumbies] play,'' Hawke said.

''I'm not saying it's going to be easy, it's going to be a tough challenge, but definitely [it helps to] get a read on how they play and what they do.''

ACT XV coach Craig Robberds said the game was the perfect opportunity for Canberra's best to put their names forward, not just for a Super Rugby contract, but also an opportunity at the inaugural National Rugby Championship later this year.

Robberds said a good showing against the Brumbies could lead to a spot on Canberra's team in the third-tier development competition, which begins in August and will be shown on prime-time TV.

''The guys that did the off-season training, it's their chance to put their hand up to say next year get me into the squad,'' Robberds said.

''For these guys it's a really good chance with this third-tier comp coming up in August.''


ACT Brumbies v ACT XV at Vikings Park, 6.50pm. Free entry.