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After three Super Rugby campaigns as skipper of the University of Canberra Brumbies, 2014 will be Ben Mowen’s final season with the ACT-based club after the 29 year old announced he will move to France.
The current Wallabies and UC Brumbies Captain has recently started a young family and with the high travel demands of a player of his standing he felt this was the best time to stand aside.
Arriving from the Waratahs at the end of 2011, Mowen quickly set about becoming a major contributor to the UC Brumbies team culture and standards.
Heading into the 2014 Super Rugby season Mowen sits fourth on the list of most-capped UC Brumbies captains on 33 and at a national level was named the Wallabies 80th skipper in 2013, in Perth against Argentina.
Mowen was named the UC Brumbies Best Forward in 2013 and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s best loose forwards. Over the last two seasons Mowen has developed into a captain who puts everything into game day, pays attention to detail for preparation and recovery and consistently makes the right decisions under pressure.
Mowen said it was a difficult decision to make but felt the club was well equipped to move forward.
“I’m at a stage of my life now where I need to start thinking about my family and spending time with them. Coming to Canberra presented me with a chance to improve as a player and realise some of my personal goals and I will always be thankful to the Brumbies for those opportunities,” Mowen said.
“Moving to the ACT at the end of the 2011 season was the best rugby-decision I have ever made and I am proud to have been able to join Brumbies family. I can’t speak highly enough of the club, the staff and particularly the players who have all been supportive of me over the last two years.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved with the Brumbies and my own family for their support. My full focus is now on February 22 when we take on the Reds at Canberra Stadium.”
Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher said he had been impressed with the way Mowen had helped create a positive culture at the UC Brumbies and wished him luck during his time in France.
“Ben has been a real galvanising presence in his time at the UC Brumbies,” Fisher said.
“He is an outstanding leader, has a great rugby brain, and is a diligent and hard working footballer. His positive influence will continue to be felt long after he is gone.
“He will leave the UC Brumbies at season’s end in a healthy state with a group of core players now having International experience and strong leadership credentials.”
UC Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham echoed Fisher’s sentiments in wishing Mowen luck for the future.
“Ben is one of the best captains I have ever been involved with,” Larkham said.
“He is always a hundred percent committed to getting the best result for the team each week.
“Ben was adamant the team needed to know first, and made it perfectly clear in the team meeting yesterday that he is highly motivated to make this season a standout season, not only for himself but for the entire Brumbies team.”
POS: No. 8
H/W: 1.95m, 110kg
DOB: 01/12/1984, Brisbane
Senior Club: Tuggeranong, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 75
Super Rugby Points: 40 (8t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2006 v Sharks (QLD)
Test Rugby Caps: 15; pts: 5 (t)
Test Rugby Debut: 2013 v British and Irish Lions, Brisbane