The Brumbies Provincial squad is preparing for a stiff challenge this weekend when they take in the Brumbies U19 and the ACT Griffins in a three-way tournament, the Capital Cup, at Gungahlin Enclosed.
The Provincial Team is effectively the Brumbies “Country” representative team and is selected from players outside of the seven Canberra Premier Division clubs. Southern Inland players dominate selection with a smattering of players from the Brumbies other regional hubs.
“The ACT provincial program is a great opportunity for country rugby players to challenge themselves and be exposed to high level footy,” Head Coach Nick McCarthy commented.
“In saying this we are coming to Canberra for the Capital Cup looking to win. We’ve picked a strong squad and the boys know if we play well and trust our structures and ability, we’ve every chance. We’re playing two very strong, well coached sides however were confident we can go with them.”
Country rugby, and selecting and getting a strong representative team together, isn’t without its challenges which McCarthy confirmed.
“The biggest challenge for us is connecting as a side in such a short period of time,” McCarthy revealed.
“There are some strong combinations from the SIRU, Monaro and south coast sides present, however this will be our biggest challenge. Country rugby face the same challenges as all organised sport regardless of the location in my opinion.
“There is less drive to be involved from a players point of view and in a saturated market where all sports are fighting for player numbers it’s a battle that doesn’t have an easy answer. One thing I can say is that personally I believe that the Brumbies are doing a good job with keeping people in the game.”
Representative football holds a special place in the hearts of those lucky enough to take part and McCarthy is a big fan of these types of teams as he explained earlier this week.
“Representative rugby is important. Simple as that,” he said, “Chances like this aren’t easy for guys from the bush to come across easily. Not everyone is in a position to relocate to a premier competition, so these sorts of tournaments are a great way for these players to play high level footy.
“If we look back over the last few years there are several players from this provincial side who’ve relocated to Canberra and succeeded off the back of their provincial performances.
“Corey Toole, Tom Hallam, Tino Manuolevao, Max Ravouvou and Simon Vunilagi have all relocated recently having previously been ACT provincial players.
“Aside from results rugby tours are one of those things that the players lucky enough to experience them look back very fondly on. We are trying to create something that the players can look back on fondly and be proud they were there.”
Brumbies Provincial Representative Program
September 7th – Capital Cup (3 way-tournament with Griffins, Brumbies Provincial, Brumbies U19s) at Gungahlin Enclosed
1. Nathan SEYMOUR (SIRU/Wagga City)
2. Tom BOYLE (c) (SIRU/Albury)
3. Robert WILTSHIRE (SIRU/Wagga Waratahs)
4. Ben CHEETAM (Monaro/Goulburn)
5. Eroni NAUA (SIRU/Leeton)
6. Ashley KENNY (South Coast/Batemans Bay)
7. Luke TURNER (SIRU/Wagga Ag College)
8. Menzies SEUMANUTAFA (SIRU/Tumut)
9. Justin DARIOL (South Coast/Braidwood)
10. Jayden STANTON (SIRU/Wagga City)
11. Jordan LEES (Monaro/Goulburn)
12. Riley TURNER (South Coast/Braidwood)
13. Alec PALMER (Monaro/Goulburn)
14. Vaughn SCOTT (SIRU/Tumut)
15. Callum RAMM (SIRU/Wagga Waratahs)
16. Chris LATU (SIRU/Griffith)
17. Apimeleki KALOUDONU (SIRU/Griffith)
18. Sainivalati RATUDRADRA (SIRU/Leeton)
19. Liam MOWBRAY (SIRU/Wagga Ag College)
20. Andrew GOSLETT (South Coast/Bungendore)
21. Tom HALLAM (SIRU/Canberra Royals)
22. Mikael WEBBER (vc) (Monaro/Goulburn)
23. Lochlan RAMM (SIRU/Wagga Ag College)
Head Coach – Nick McCarthy (SIRU)
Assistant Coaches – Michael Nicoletti (South Coast), Will Mitchell (SIRU)
Manager – Jonathon Andreou (SIRU)