The Brumbies preseason group has been strengthened by the club’s Elite Development Squad (EDS) group of identified up and coming talent from the ACT and interstate.
The EDS squad's inclusion in the Brumbies preseason group is an important element in their development on the path to earn an opportunity to play Super Rugby.
Local Brumbies Academy products Remsy Lemisio, Zane Marolt and Pat Maka are gaining valuable experience from their time in the club’s senior environment.
Gungahlin Eagles flyer Corey Toole returned to the Brumbies preseason group after an outstanding debut World 7s series, Toole scoring 10 tries in Australian gold across the two series in Dubai.
Uni-Norths Owls lock Will Sankey, Wests fullback Declan Meredith, Queanbeyan Whites centre Jacob Church and Owls winger Siave Seti’s performances in the John I Dent Cup have been recognised, the trio all having trained with the Brumbies squad before the Christmas break.
Marist graduate Matias Jensen also joined the group after completing his high-school studies, the outside-back impressing with his ability to transition to training with the Brumbies senior group.
Backrower Charlie Cale played for Eastwood in the Shute Shield in 2021 and will continue with the Brumbies in the new year and will join Uni-Norths Owls to play in the John I Dent Cup.
Loosehead prop Harry Vella (Canberra Royals) , backrower Titi Nofoagatatoa (Tuggeranong Vikings) and outside back Nathan Carroll (Queanbeyan Whites) will also continue in the new year having joined the Brumbies preseason group after playing together in Brisbane with Brothers rugby club with halfback Nick Chapman having also joined the Brumbies preseason group from Norths Eagles.
A number of Brumbies pathways players have also joined to continue their development, including Canberra u18 and St. Edmunds College student Shane Wilcox, u19 halfback Klayton Thorn, playmaker Syris Schmidt (both Gungahlin Eagles) and tighthead prop Massimo De Lutiis (Canberra Royals).
Thorn, Schmidt and De Lutiis will join the Brumbies Academy in the new year and will represent the club at u19 level while taking up studies at the University of Canberra.
Brumbies General Manager Professional Rugby and Pathways, Chris Tindall said: “Our preseason program is a great opportunity for our pathways players to train alongside our Brumbies players to aid their development in addition to their Academy program heading into 2022."
“We have seen the benefits of this preseason block over the past few seasons, with guys getting a chance to train in our Super Rugby environment, and how that helps accelerate their development on and off the field, and their transition into the full-time squad if and when they earn that spot.
“This preseason block provides a first experience of professionalism and the level required at Super Rugby and whether they join us during the season, in 2023 or if they take their learnings back to club rugby, the value is there for us in their progression and as a connection piece to our local community.
"It’s particularly important we are giving players in our John I Dent Cup and our Schools system an opportunity to become a Super Rugby player with the Brumbies.
"Our current Brumbies squad have an important part to play in that in supporting those young and local players in their learning and in welcoming them into the Brumbies culture.
"Strengthening the integration between our Brumbies squad, Academy and Super W program in both player and and staff interaction is something we are focusing on for the present and for the future and I believe we will continue to see the benefits of this moving forward."