ACT Brumbies recruit James Dargaville likened to Pat McCabe

ACT Brumbies recruit James Dargaville likened to Pat McCabe

He's been likened to Wallabies warrior Pat McCabe and the ACT Brumbies are backing recruit James Dargaville to force his way into a star-studded back line next year.

The Brumbies have all but completed their Super Rugby roster for the 2015 season by making two signings, securing hard-nosed back Dargaville and lock Blake Enever. It's understood the Brumbies have their eye on an Australian sevens representative to complete their roster.

While the recruits will join a squad boasting 14 Wallabies, coach Stephen Larkham is confident they will be able to push their case for selection at the Brumbies.

Larkham likened Sydney Stars player Dargaville to McCabe, regarded as one of world rugby's toughest players before he retired earlier this year because of a third broken neck. The former back-rower has transformed into a powerful 94-kilogram winger with speed to burn.

"He's is a bit like 'Patty', he's been playing on the wing ... he's very tough and quick," Larkham said.


"He reads the game well and throws his body into contact, all of his coaches rate him highly as a worker and he's willing to learn to play. He's very aggressive and solid as well."

Barring injury, the Brumbies will have a Wallabies player available for every back-line position except fullback.

Robbie Coleman looms as the most likely candidate to fill the No.15 jersey while former Test fullback Jesse Mogg recovers from a shoulder reconstruction.

Because of the talent already in his squad Larkham's salary cap was stretched this year and he had to target rising stars instead of established Super Rugby players.

"Three years ago we only had three Wallabies and now we've got about 14 who have developed through our system," Larkham said.

"The more they develop, the more expensive they are. It's a dilemma, but it's a good dilemma. We want to keep the squad together and we want the fringe guys to learn from the Wallabies and then hopefully build themselves into Wallabies.

"There's a bit of succession planning involved ... we want to keep the core together and then pick up young guys who haven't been recognised yet to develop them into top Super Rugby players."

Enever is a 200-centimetre lock and adds to the Brumbies' tall timber, which already includes Wallaby Sam Carter and 208cm, 130kg giant Rory Arnold, who will become Super Rugby's tallest player if he makes his debut next year.

The 23-year-old Enever has been on the cusp of Queensland Reds selection for the past two seasons and made his Super Rugby debut in 2012. But the former Australian under-20s representative sees more opportunities in Canberra and will battle with Arnold and Tom Staniforth to be Carter's second-row partner.

The Brumbies will start pre-season training in next month. Larkham, who turned down a role as a Wallabies assistant coach this week, remains in charge.

Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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