Too often ACT Brumbies players felt like they were in survival mode.
So the coaching staff has given power to the players and revamped their pre-season training program in a bid to prosper in Super Rugby Pacific.
Clubs across the competition will unveil their full squads on Monday morning as the Brumbies prepare to kick off the second week of the club's pre-season training schedule.
Assistant coaches Laurie Fisher and Rod Seib are steering the ship in the absence of Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar following his duties on the Wallabies' Spring Tour.
Speed, power and high intensity efforts have taken centre stage as the main focus for Brumbies coaches leading into the club's season opener against Moana Pasifika on February 18 in Auckland.
MORE RUGBY UNION
The Brumbies will play a trial match against the NSW Waratahs in Bowral on January 29, with coaches now trying to strike a balance with a new outlook on pre-season training.
"We asked the players for feedback at the end of last season and they felt too often they were in a mindset of surviving and getting through it rather than prospering and getting better," Fisher said.
"We're really trying to find that balance between working hard enough but not so hard so you're conscious of turning up to get better, not just turning up to get through the session, 'I'll just get through the next session and I'll be alright'.
"It's really to try to encourage a positive mindset."
The bulk of the Brumbies' Wallabies contingent will return to pre-season training on January 4 with a handful to be given a little bit more time off. Thirteen of the Brumbies' 35-man 2022 squad played for the Wallabies this year. Five more spent time in the Australian camp.
Nic White, Len Ikitau and Pete Samu are poised to spend another week in the UK after being named to play for the Barbarians against Samoa at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday [AEDT].
McKellar will link up with the group after Christmas.
"We're always about trying to get better. Last pre-season was a real focus on conditioning, this year it's about speed, power and training at high intensity," McKellar said.
"At the same time we're making sure we get the balance right with getting the work in that needs to be done. We've just had a shift in how we want to approach it. Laurie, Rod and [head of performance] Brad Mayo are doing a superb job in delivering it and executing.
"We're only one week into pre-season, but the boys have been working hard there for a number of months with some time off in-between. It's good, we were due for a little freshen up and I think the players are appreciating it and they can see why we've taken the approach we've taken."
Twenty-six members of the Brumbies' 2021 squad return next season, while former players return in fullback Jesse Mogg and playmaker Rod Iona. Tighthead prop Sefo Kautai and loosehead prop Fred Kaihea also join the squad in a full-time capacity after earning caps this year.
Five new additions feature in the squad in back-rower Ed Kennedy, midfielders Chris Feauai-Sautia, Ollie Sapsford and Hudson Creighton, and outside back Cam Clark.
ACT BRUMBIES 2022 SQUAD
Prop: Allan Alaalatoa, 27, (Uni-Norths Owls); Fred Kaihea, 22, (Queanbeyan Whites); Sefo Kautai, 25, (Canberra Royals); Tom Ross, 23, (Gungahlin Eagles); James Slipper, 32, (Queanbeyan Whites); Scott Sio, 30, (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Hooker: Folau Fainga'a, 26, (Wests Lions); Lachlan Lonergan, 22, (Tuggeranong Vikings); Connal McInerney, 26, (Canberra Royals); Billy Pollard, 19, (Uni-Norths Owls)
Lock: Nick Frost, 22, (Queanbeyan Whites); Tom Hooper, 20, (Tuggeranong Vikings); Cadeyrn Neville, 33, (Uni-Norths Owls); Darcy Swain, 24, (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Back-row: Jahrome Brown, 25, (Gungahlin Eagles); Ed Kennedy, 27, (Canberra Royals); Luke Reimer, 21, (Wests Lions); Pete Samu, 29, (Gungahlin Eagles); Rory Scott, 21, (Canberra Royals); Rob Valetini, 23, (Wests Lions)
Scrumhalf: Lachie Albert, 20, (Wests Lions); Ryan Lonergan, 23, (Tuggeranong Vikings); Nic White, 31, (Queanbeyan Whites)
Flyhalf: Rodney Iona, 30, (Tuggeranong Vikings); Noah Lolesio, 21, (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Centre: Hudson Creighton, 22, (Queanbeyan Whites); Chris Feauai-Sautia, 28, (Gungahlin Eagles); Len Ikitau, 23, (Tuggeranong Vikings); Irae Simone, 26, (Uni-Norths Owls); Ollie Sapsford, 26, (TBC)
Outside back: Tom Banks, 27, (Uni-Norths Owls); Cam Clark, 28, (Gungahlin Eagles); Jesse Mogg, 32, (Wests Lions); Andy Muirhead, 28, (Canberra Royals); Tom Wright, 24, (Wests Lions)
IN: Sefo Kautai, Fred Kaihea, Ed Kennedy, Rod Iona, Hudson Creighton, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Ollie Sapsford, Cam Clark, Jesse Mogg
OUT: Bayley Kuenzle, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Reesjan Pasitoa, Reece Tapine, James Tucker, Harry Lloyd, Mack Hansen, Archer Holz, Solomone Kata
MELBOURNE REBELS 2022 SQUAD
Props: Cabous Eloff, Vaauli (Pone) Faamausili, Matt Gibbon, Cameron Orr, Rhys Van Nek
Hookers: James Hanson, Efi Maafu, Jordan Uelese
Locks: Ross Haylett-Petty, Trevor Hosea, Tom Nowlan, Matt Philip
Backrow: Richard Hardwick, Tamati Ioane, Josh Kemeny, Rob Leota, Michael Wells, Brad Wilkin
Halfbacks: Joe Powell, Moses Sorovi, James Tuttle
Flyhalves: Carter Gordon
Centres: Stacey Ili, Ray Nu'u, Young Tonumaipea, Matt To'omua, Jeral Skelton
Outside backs: Lachlan Anderson, Reece Hodge, Andrew Kellaway, Joe Pincus, Ilikena Vudogo
IN: Tamati Ioane, Joe Pincus, Moses Sorovi, Efi Maafu, Matt Philip
OUT: Lucio Sordoni, Ignacio Calas, Steve Cummins, Lewis Holland, Frank Lomani, Tom Pincus, Dane Haylett-Petty, Isi Naisarani, Marika Koroibete
NSW WARATAHS 2022 SQUAD
Props: Angus Bell, Tiaan Taukipulu, Te Tera Faulkner, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Ruan Smith, Archer Holz
Hookers: David Porecki, Tom Horton
Locks: Max Douglas, Jed Holloway, Ned Hanigan, Hugh Bokenham, Jeremy Williams
Backrow: Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Lachie Swinton, Carlo Tizzano, Michael Hooper, Will Harris, Hugh Sinclair, Charlie Gamble, Langi Gleeson
Halfbacks: Jack Grant, Jake Gordon, Henry Robertson
Flyhalves: Will Harrison, Tane Edmed, Ben Donaldson
Centres: Joey Walton, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Mosese Tuipulotu
Outside Backs: Mark Nawaqanitawase, Alex Newsome, James Ramm, Tristan Reilly, Tevita Funa, Dylan Pietsch
IN: Ruan Smith, Jed Holloway, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Tevita Funa, Dylan Pietsch, Archer Holz, Hugh Bokenham
OUT: Robbie Abel, Chris Talakai, Jack Whetton, Sam Caird, Sam Wykes,Jack Dempsey, Tepai Moeroa, Jack Maddocks, Joe Cotton, Chris Tatola
QUEENSLAND REDS 2022 SQUAD
Props: George Blake, Feao Fotuaika, Harry Hoopert, Zane Nonggorr, Taniela Tupou, Dane Zander
Hookers: Richie Asiata, Alex Mafi, Josh Nasser
Locks: Angus Blyth, Lopeti Faifua, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Ryan Smith, Tuaina Taii Tualima,
Backrow: Fraser McReight, Angus Scott-Young, Seru Uru, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright
Halfbacks: Spencer Jeans, Tate McDermott, Kalani Thomas
Flyhalves: Lawson Creighton, Tom Lynagh, James O'Connor
Centres: Josh Flook, Isaac Henry, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart
Outside backs: Jock Campbell, Filipo Daugunu, Ilaisa Droasese, Mac Grealy, Jordan Petaia, Suliasi Vunivalu
IN: Spencer Jeans, Tom Lynagh, Lopeti Faifua. George Blake
OUT: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Bryce Hegarty, Moses Sorovi
WESTERN FORCE 2022 SQUAD
Props: Bo Abra, Greg Holmes, Harry Lloyd, Santiago Medrano, Tom Robertson, Angus Wagner
Hookers: Feleti Kaitu'u, Andrew Ready, Jack Winchester
Locks: Ryan McCauley, Fergus Lee-Warner, Jackson Pugh, Izack Rodda, Sitaleki Timani, Jeremy Thrush
Backrow: Tim Anstee, Ollie Callan, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander
Halfbacks: Isaac Fines-Leleiwasa, Michael McDonald, Ian Prior
Flyhalves: Jake McIntrye, Reejan Pasitoa
Centres: Kyle Godwin, Richard Kahui, Bayley Kuenzle, Grason Makara
Outside backs: Daniel Ala, Brad Lacey, Manasa Mataele, Jack McGregor, Toni Pulu, Byron Ralston, Jake Strachan, Reece Tapine
IN: Daniel Ala, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Bayley Kuenzle, Harry Lloyd, Manasa Mataele, Reesjan Pasitoa and Reece Tapine.
OUT: Marcel Brache, Tomas Cubelli, Rob Kearney, Tevita Kuridrani, Jono Lance, Tomas Lezana, Kieran Longbottom, Domingo Miotti, Jordan Olowofela, Jonah Placid and Henry Taefu
FIJIAN DRUA 2022 SQUAD
Props: Haereiti Hetet, Jone Koroiduadua, Meli Tuni, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Manasa Saulo, Samuela Tawake
Hookers: Mesu Dolokoto, Tevita Ikanivere, Zuriel Togiatama
Locks: Chris Minimbi, Ratu Rotuisolia, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Viliame Rarasea, Isoa Nasilasila, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
Backrow: Joseva Tamani, Kitione Salawa, Meli Derenalagi, Nemani Nagusa, Raikabula Momoedonu, Rusiate Nasove, Vilive Miramira
Halfbacks: Leone Nawai, Peni Matawalu, Simione Kuruvoli
Flyhalves: Teti Tela, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre
Centres: Apisalome Vota, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Kalione Nasoko, Seru Vularika
Outside Backs: Onisi Ratave, Vinaya Habosi, Kitione Taliga, Napolioni Bolaca
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: