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White sees Red at mind games

Date

Chris Dutton

Brumbies coach Jake White  at training on Tuesday.

Brumbies coach Jake White at training on Tuesday. Photo: Colleen Petch

Forget about Queensland's ''mind games'' and focus on ''making a statement'' - that's Jake White's message to the ACT Brumbies as they try to stamp themselves as the team to beat in the Australian Super Rugby conference.

White threw a jab to the Reds on Thursday when he said that Ewen McKenzie was trying to distract his team by ruling Wallabies skipper James Horwill out of the round-one clash at Canberra Stadium.

And while McKenzie has taken a step back to be the director of coaching, White is adamant he will still be calling the shots for Queensland on Saturday night.

The Reds have ruled Horwill out of the blockbuster season-opener as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

But White suspects McKenzie is trying to play a mental game before the blockbuster contest and expects the experienced lock to be on the field in the capital.

''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],'' White said.

''At the end of the day 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'.

''It's irrelevant. At the end of the day we have to focus on what we want to get right, and that's make sure we get a win in Canberra on Saturday.

''We want to bring back the glory days of Canberra and Brumbies rugby and we understand that, and if that means it's a derby game and we have to do whatever, we'll have to make sure we deliver.''

The Reds have traditionally been the Brumbies bunnies in Super Rugby.

Queensland had not won in Canberra in Super Rugby history until they toppled the Brumbies a week after Andy Friend was sacked in 2010.

Now the Reds have won four of the past five contests between the teams.

The Brumbies could have knocked the Reds out of finals contention last season had Zack Holmes converted a penalty shot after the siren.

Instead, the Reds won by one point and clinched the Super Rugby guaranteed play-off berth when the Brumbies choked in the last regular-season game.

The Reds have reshuffled their coaching structure this season, with Richard Graham now the head coach and McKenzie overseeing the rugby program.

But White believes McKenzie is still a ''hands-on'' leader for the Reds.

White is hoping for 20,000 fans for the round one match, with Clyde Rathbone returning, an intense Australian rivalry heating up, and marquee recruit David Pocock making his Brumbies debut.

Pocock has signed a three-year deal to play in Canberra and the Brumbies now boast one of the best openside flankers in world rugby.

The 24-year-old missed the bulk of the Wallabies season last year with a knee injury.

In his absence Reds star Liam Gill and former Brumby Michael Hooper proved they were worthy challengers to Pocock's stranglehold on the Test No. 7 jersey. ''It's fantastic for Australian rugby to have depth in all positions and going into [the 2011 World Cup], No. 7 was a real area of concern for us,'' Pocock said.

''Two years down the track we've got three guys who can fill that role.

''That's what you want in Australian derbies, you want to go up against the best. I look forward to playing all of those guys.

''It definitely adds to your training and you're constantly pushing yourself, but a lot of the motivation comes from within to be the best player you can be.''

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
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 22:00KPS
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
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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