Allan Alaalatoa knows his coach won't mention it.
But the Brumbies captain plans to use Dan McKellar's impending departure from the club as one of his side's key motivators throughout this year's Super Rugby campaign.
The 28-year-old returned to preseason training this week after a near two-month layoff, following his lengthy Wallabies commitments over the spring.
He reported back a week after McKellar, who rejoined his Brumbies squad last week following a lengthy period as one of Dave Rennie's Wallabies assistants.
That's a role he'll take on full time at the conclusion of his final year as Brumbies coach, which Alaalatoa has vowed to make memorable for his long-term mentor.
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"Understanding that it is Dan's last year, it's a huge motivator for us, it's something that we'll probably remind each other of throughout the year," Alaalatoa said.
"Dan definitely won't bring it up in the team meeting, but I think it's something that myself and other coaches can bring up.
"As a player here you're obviously devastated that he has to leave. Every year that I've been a part of here at the Brumbies, Dan has been involved as well and from my perspective he's helped me grow as a player and as a person.
"Through those eight or nine years he's been solely committed to the Brumbies and making sure he's doing everything he can to push this franchise forward.
"His legacy will definitely be carried on by coaches and players who are left here afterwards. He's definitely earned his stripes for the ARU job but I know he's solely committed to the Brumbies season this year and that he does everything he can to help us achieve our goal."
McKellar joined the Brumbies coaching staff in 2014, and took over as head coach in 2018. He delivered a Super Rugby AU championship in 2020, and only narrowly missed out on defending that title last season in a heart-breaking final loss to the Queensland Reds.
The 45-year-old has remodeled preseason training this summer in a bid to build a more powerful squad ahead of the February 19 season opener against the Western Force.
"It's very different our approach to training," McKellar said.
"Preseasons are always very tough here and it's no different this year. [There's been] more focus this year on speed, agility, power, quality over quantity.
"Last year was a real conditioning focus. Not saying that was right or wrong but we've had a shift in how we train this year and the players have appreciated that.
"We just feel as a team we just need to be more powerful, especially against the best teams in the competition.
"We've reviewed every season each year really thoroughly as a coaching group and a couple of things came out of it and we take learnings from those and come up with solutions and aim to be better in 2022."
The majority of McKellar's Wallabies players returned to training this week, giving the coach near to a full-strength squad leading into the start of the season next month.
"[With] our players and our environment and culture here, there's no hierarchy, they [the Wallabies players] know it's their job to come in and fit in around the rest of the group that have been working really hard for a number of months pre-Christmas," McKellar said.
"They'll go about that respectfully and we'll build their conditioning level up to the level that's required after a good break, they all deserved and needed a good break after a long year. It's been pretty seamless so far.
"This is the honeymoon period of every season. We've just got to keep working away and keep getting better every day and understand that the challenges are coming from February 19."