The loss of a Wallaby has seen the rise of an exciting ACT Brumbies combination in Irae Simone and Len Ikatau, with the former adamant it's only going to get better.
Tevita Kuridrani's exit to the Western Force has given Ikitau a prime opportunity to make the Brumbies' No.13 jersey his own, and so far his fellow centre is loving it.
The duo is developing a potent combination in the midfield, linking well to create try-scoring opportunities in their first two hit-outs of the Super Rugby AU season.
They played a key role in two of Mack Hansen's tries against the NSW Waratahs on Saturday night, with Simone saying the centres had worked on their execution throughout the week to finish off those chances.
"I'm loving it [the combination] at the moment. Lenny is a talented footballer, he's full of potential," Simone said.
"He's one of those blokes that when you give him the ball he just creates something out of nothing.
"Having him outside of me gives me a lot of confidence, knowing what he can do and his ability.
"We're still building that combination, it's only round two. I'm loving it, we'll just keep building every time."
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Simone, who made his Wallabies debut last year, said they still left a lot of tries out there in their historic 61-10 thrashing of the Waratahs.
So heading into Saturday's clash with the Melbourne Rebels at Canberra Stadium, Simone and Ikitau were back to the drawing board.
The Rebels present a different challenge to the wounded Waratahs, boasting the likes of former Brumbies Joe Powell and Matt To'omua.
Dave Wessels' side enter the round-three clash eager to bounce back from their 23-21 loss to the Queensland Reds, having lost in the last few minutes.
"They're going to come back strong, they have a few boys who are ex-Brumbies trying to make their mark," Simone said.
"We're back at home again, so we're pretty confident that we'll get the job done, but we have to have a good preparation this week to give us every opportunity to take it to them."
The Brumbies lead the Super Rugby AU standings and hold a seven-match winning streak at Canberra Stadium, where they've also won 17 of their past 18 games.
Despite riding a wave of confidence from their record-shattering win over NSW, hooker Lachlan Lonergan warned the Brumbies could not get ahead of themselves so early in the season.
"It's a good win for the Brumbies, it's only the second round so we can't fall in love with ourselves - it's a long season," Lonergan said.
"We love to get a win like that, it's what we wanted especially for the first match at home. It was good to be back, it was awesome. It was a good win and we can only build off it."
Lonergan, 21, scored his first Super Rugby AU try in his 26-minute stint off the bench for the Brumbies last weekend.
He's hoping to become a regular member of Dan McKellar's 23, having been given an opportunity in the absence of the injured Wallaby Folau Fainga'a (toe).
"We've got four hookers at this club, we're just competing week in and week out," Lonergan said.
"We love doing it. We're all good mates and obviously I want to be in that 23 every weekend, but there are four good hookers and two of us can do the job every weekend."
SUPER RUGBY AU ROUND THREE
Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels at Canberra Stadium, 7.45pm.
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