Months of hard work and sacrifice by the entire Brumbies playing group and staff were validated last Saturday (19 September) when they were crowned Super Rugby AU champions.
The Canberra-based side defeated the Queensland Reds 28-23 in front of a sell-out 6,000 strong crowd at GIO Stadium to win their first title since 2004.
The Brumbies led for most of the game and held out a surging Reds side who mounted a late comeback.
Following two close tussles going the way of the Brumbies earlier in the season, the Reds dismantled the Brumbies 26-7 just a fortnight prior to the Super Rugby AU final, which made for a hotly contested decider.
“For us to be able to get the last one, and the one that matters the most, was really pleasing for us,” Brumbies wing Tom Wright said.
However, it’s straight back on the road for 13 of the Brumbies, who join the 44-man Wallabies squad for their upcoming test campaign.
Four Brumbies uncapped for the Wallabies made the squad, including Wright, while another four with fewer than 10 caps also made the grade.
With a total of 16 uncapped players in the squad it will be a rejuvenation for the Australian side under new coach David Rennie after bowing out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in the quarterfinals.
23-year-old Wright said he was excited by the opportunity before him to push his case for a Wallabies debut this year.
“Obviously, it will be something new for me so I’m looking forward to the challenges of trying to get a jersey and getting to meet new people and training at the highest level,” he said.
Wright has played 26 games for the Brumbies since being signed from the NRL’s Manly Sea Eagles in late 2018 on a two-season deal and had a break-out season this year on the wing.
Following Saturday’s win, Wright said he and his teammates soaked up the win before quickly recalibrating to focus on the international season ahead.
“As a group we definitely got around each other and had a good time … opportunities don’t come around too often, so you’ve got to soak them in with the guys that you do it with.”
After Sunday’s well-deserved celebrations, the Brumbies contingent of the Wallabies squad bussed to Cessnock, NSW to convene for a camp ahead of two Bledisloe Cup tests against New Zealand on 11 and 18 October.
The Wallabies squad are awaiting final clearances from the New Zealand government before flying to Christchurch later this week.