The Plus500 Brumbies have confirmed their squad for the 2021 Super Rugby Season, with 28 of the club’s 2020 title squad returning next year.
The 36-player group includes scrumhalf Issak Fines, who will wear Brumbies colours again after making his debut for the club in 2020, and Lock James Tucker from New Zealand.
26-year-old Tucker, a former Junior All Black, made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs in 2016 before stints in Europe and Japan and was part of the Auckland Blues squad in 2020.
Tucker joins outside back Reece Tapine and tighthead prop Archer Holz as the Brumbies new recruits for 2021, adding to the five academy products who have been promoted to the club’s Super Rugby squad for next season.
That group includes Canberra local Rory Scott who is one of seven in the squad who grew up in the ACT.
14 members of the 2021 squad spent time with the Wallabies during this year’s Tri-Nations tournament, with 11 of those playing in the Gold Jersey, including Test debuts for Noah Lolesio, Irae Simone and Tom Wright.
Apart from Wallaby Centurion James Slipper and dynamic backrow Pete Samu, all of the Brumbies Wallabies contingent were either part of the Brumbies pathways programme or joined the club before or at the early stage of their Super Rugby careers.
The pathways programme has produced 19 of the Brumbies Super Rugby squad for 2021.
19 of the 2021 group are also 23 years old or younger.
Plus500 Brumbies Head Coach Dan McKellar said: “We’re excited about the makeup of our squad for next season.”
“With the age profile of the group, the number of Wallabies we had this year and the fact that the majority of the guys are returning from last season, we’re in a good place to give ourselves a chance to compete again next year.
“The exciting thing for the coaching staff and I is that after a good season last year, there is still a lot of improving we can do, both for the boys individually but as a collective as well.
“We’re proud of what we achieved last season, particularly through the adversity we faced but we have to look forward now, and with this group, our only goal is to just get better and better every day.”
2021 Plus500 Brumbies Super Rugby Squad
Folau Fainga’a (Western District Lions)
Lachlan Lonergan (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Connal McInerney (Canberra Royals)
Billy Pollard (Uni-Norths Owls)
Allan Alaalatoa (Uni-Norths Owls)
Archer Holz (Canberra Royals)
Harry Lloyd (Western District Lions)
Tom Ross (Gungahlin Eagles)
Scott Sio (Tuggeranong Vikings)
James Slipper (Queanbeyan Whites)
Tom Hooper (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Nick Frost (Queanbeyan Whites)
Cadeyrn Neville (Uni-Norths Owls)
Darcy Swain (Tuggeranong Vikings)
James Tucker (Uni-Norths Owls)
Jahrome Brown (Gungahlin Eagles)
Tom Cusack (Canberra Royals)
Luke Reimer (Western District Lions)
Pete Samu (Gungahlin Eagles)
Rory Scott (Canberra Royals)
Rob Valetini (Western District Lions)
Lachie Albert (Western District Lions)
Issak Fines (Gungahlin Eagles)
Ryan Lonergan (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Nic White (Queanbeyan Whites)
Bayley Kuenzle (Canberra Royals)
Noah Lolesio (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Reesjan Pasitoa (Western District Lions)
Tom Banks (Uni-Norths Owls)
Mack Hansen (Gungahlin Eagles)
Len Ikitau (Tuggeranong Vikings)
Solomone Kata (Gungahlin Eagles)
Andy Muirhead (Canberra Royals)
Irae Simone (Uni-Norths Owls)
Reece Tapine (Queanbeyan Whites)
Tom Wright (Western District Lions)