The Brumbies are set to farewell several grand final heroes and two coaches after claiming the 2020 Super Rugby AU title last month.
The Brumbies claimed the title after a 28-23 victory over the Queensland Reds in the grand final, with the three most notable departees Lachlan McCaffrey, Joe Powell and Tevita Kuridrani all playing a pivotal role in the win.
After a successful second stint in the capital, McCaffrey is set to continue his career in Japan next season.
Thirty-year-old McCaffrey rejoined the Brumbies in 2018 after spending time in Europe and has been an influential figure in the team’s success both on and off the field with his leadership a real asset to the club.
The Brumbies also confirmed the future of outside centre Tevita Kuridrani, who will head West to continue his career with the Western Force in 2021, while local junior Joe Powell will also continue his career in Australia with the Melbourne Rebels.
Murray Douglas will join McCaffrey in Japan following two seasons with the Brumbies, while electric winger Toni Pulu will also wind up his time with the club after two seasons.
Despite the loss of several key players, the Brumbies will retain most of their title-winning squad with 28 players contracted to continue at the club in 2021, the highest level of retention in a decade.
Assistant coaches Pete Hewat and Ruaidhrí Murphy are also set for new challenges after agreeing to join the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan, as Back and Forwards coach respectively.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar paid tribute to the departing players and wished them well in the next chapters of their careers.
“It’s always sad when players leave the squad and these three, along with Tevita and Joey have been big contributors to our club and to our success the last few seasons,” said McKellar.
“McCaffrey has been a real leader for us in my time as head coach, around HQ and on the field, and Murray has been excellent in his time at the Brumbies, as has Toni when he’s had a run of games.
“We wish them all nothing but the best in their next challenge and they’ll always be welcome here at the Brumbies.”
McKellar also thanked the departing coaches for their time in Canberra, but insisted the club was still in good hands heading into 2021.
“Same for Pete and Ruaidhri. It’s been a pleasure working with them over the last couple of years, two young coaches with a bright future in the game.
“While there’s always change at the end of a season, we have 28 players returning to the group next year which is a real win for us; it’s the smallest turnover in 10 years.
“With Laurie Fisher and I providing continuity on the coaching side of things I’m more than confident we’ll be ready to go in 2021.”