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The University of Canberra Brumbies are celebrating the signatures of two more Wallabies this week, with Jesse Mogg and Scott Fardy both putting pen to paper while travelling to Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
Both have committed to one more season in the ACT, taking them through to the end of 2015.
As the ink on their new contracts dried, the UC Brumbies were counting Mogg and Fardy alongside other Wallabies Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, David Pocock, Matt Toomua, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White and Pat McCabe as starters for the 2015 Super Rugby season.
Both Mogg and Fardy signed on as EPS players with the UC Brumbies in 2012 and have since risen to be prominent members of their provincial and national sides.
Mogg’s Australian debut against the British and Irish Lions proved he has the goods to mix it with the best, while Fardy’s efforts during the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour mean he is now one of the Wallabies first picked.
Mogg and Fardy both debuted for the UC Brumbies during the opening round of the 2012 season in Canberra against the Force and now sit on the cusp of 50 caps each.
While both had plenty of potential, the 2012 season was likely last-chance garage, Mogg planning a move back to Brisbane and Fardy on the end of a three year stint in Japan.
“It was always my first choice to stay with the Brumbies and in the end everything worked out well for me and the club,” Mogg said.
“I’ve spent the last three years coming to this point, where I feel like I am consistently adding to the team and improving. I think a lot of that comes down to the coaching staff, particularly Steve Larkham, who has had a big impact on my career to this point.
“I’m really happy to be extending that relationship for another year. My family is back in Brisbane, but most of my mates are here in Canberra now so it’s home and I’m happy here.”
Like Mogg, Fardy was pleased to be committing to the UC Brumbies past this season. He said the ability to improve his game was a big factor in why he chose to stay.
“It took me a long time to be given a genuine opportunity at this level and I feel like I’ve made consistent improvements since then,” Fardy said.
“Over the next year I’ve got a chance to improve my game further and I believe the best place for me to achieve that growth is in Canberra with the Brumbies.
“I’m 30 this year, so I’d like to think me staying for another year shows that the game isn’t up in Australia as soon as you get past 25. Plenty of people will tell you it’s a given that after then you’ll head overseas but I’m hoping to challenge that idea.
“Laurie is probably the best fit for me of any coach around the world. He is right across all the things that set me apart as a player and I can’t imagine having made these gains without his coaching. In the end it was my preference to stay in Canberra and everything fell into place to make that a reality.”
The UC Brumbies arrived in South Africa on Monday night ahead of their two game tour, which includes matches against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and the Bulls in Pretoria.