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White accuses Reds of stretching the truth

Injury-prone ... James Horwill.

Injury-prone ... James Horwill. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

RINGO STARR is touring Australia but Brumbies coach Jake White has always been a John Lennon man, suggesting Ewen McKenzie is guilty of ''mind games'' as their Super Rugby opener looms on Saturday night.

It all began with a training drill gone wrong at Ballymore late last week, when James Horwill's wretched run of luck with injuries continued.

A fellow player fell on his ankle and his involvement in the opening weekend was immediately in doubt, with the Reds eventually ruling him out on Tuesday morning.

White is having none of it, accusing the Reds of throwing smoke bombs ahead of the first-round meeting at Canberra Stadium and suggesting subterfuge is now standard operating procedure at Ballymore. ''They'll play; they'll all be in,'' White said. ''Last year they said that Quade Cooper got injured in the hotel and wasn't going to run out and then he ended up playing the whole game, [won 13-12 by the Reds in Canberra].

''It's all mind games now. That's the way the Reds operate. They come up with, 'This guy's not available, that guy could play, this guy is sick.' We have to focus on what we want to get right and that's a win in Canberra on Saturday.''

If Super Rugby was after some more fire between the provinces, whose off-field exchanges are usually rated for general consumption, White appears happy to oblige.

McKenzie didn't want to buy into the discussion but said Horwill's injury was genuine and he would most likely be back for the Suncorp Stadium grudge match against the Waratahs on Saturday week. ''As we've done all off-season we've taken a cautious approach with James and his rehab and on this occasion we all agreed it would be best to give him another week on the sideline,'' McKenzie said.

Horwill leaves a sizeable hole in the Reds scrum but more concerning is yet another injury for the captain, who will hand over control to prop James Slipper.

A painful hamstring injury means Horwill hasn't played a game of Super Rugby in nine months and he would have dearly loved to take the field in Canberra before meeting the Waratahs in Queensland's first outing at Suncorp in 2013.

The experienced Adam Wallace-Harrison will likely join Rob Simmons in the Reds' second row against the Brumbies, who will feature the return of Clyde Rathbone and Wallabies openside David Pocock.

Slipper said the Reds were intent on starting the season well after enduring a horrible run with injuries last year, when players in key positions were falling like flies.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies grew in stature under White and missed the finals by a whisker, finishing second in the conference and seventh overall after a cut-throat final round.

''It's hugely important [to start well], '' Slipper said. ''They did have a great year. Everyone saw that, and we were lucky to get on top of them at the very end there.

''Coming into the first round, everyone wants to start well. It's crucial to start a campaign well and we'll be going out this weekend to do that.''

with AAP

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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 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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
WinB 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 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 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
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
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
View all

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