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The Brumbies have unveiled the final pieces of their playing squad for the 2012 Super Rugby season, with five Extended Playing Squad (EPS) members announced by the club on Friday.
Dylan Sigg (lock/No 8), Jesse Mogg (wing/fullback), Scott Sio (prop/hooker), Scott Fardy (flanker) and Ruaidhri (pron: Rory) Murphy (prop) will all train with the main squad and be used in case of injuries.
Considering the Brumbies 2011 coaching staff used 35 players throughout the season, 2012 Head Coach Jake White took careful consideration when selecting his final five players.
White was pleased to have his squad finalised and was now looking forward to the start of preseason training.
“With Sigg and Fardy we can cover lock, No 8 and even flanker quite comfortably,” White said.
“Both players have performed well in Sydney and overseas and I was pleased to be able to give them an opportunity with the Brumbies.
“Sio and Murphy are also exciting young players. For a young guy, Sio has developed a great deal of strength through his legs and upper body and he is continually becoming a better scrummager.
“Growing up as a front-rower in Ireland means that set piece is Murphy’s bread and butter. He’s got a lot of development to get through but working with guys like Ben Alexander, Dan Palmer and Stephen Moore will be good for his game.
“Jesse Mogg is a real threat out wide. He has been in our system for a couple of years now and deserves his spot.
“With such a long season ahead it’s more than likely that most of these players will feature for us in 2012. It’s comforting to know that we have good depth across every position should we be hit by injury.”
The EPS system is being introduced for the first time for the 2012 season.
Each Super Rugby team is allowed five EPS players who will train full time with the team’s 30-man Core Playing Squad (CPS), but who will only be available for selection in the match-day 22 where the CPS is depleted by injury.
The 25 EPS players are funded by the ARU and the EPS system has been introduced to achieve a greater spread of playing talent across the five Super Rugby teams through the key lever of playing opportunity.
As for Sigg, Fardy, Sio, Murphy and Mogg – they will be given ample time to impress as the 2012 season progresses.
Sigg comes to the ACT after a stint with Italian club Parma. At almost 2m tall, the towering lock will compliment fellow lineout technicians Leon Power, Ben Hand and Sam Carter.
Most recently, Sigg was part of the Manly side that finished within striking distance of the Shute Shield Grand Final.
Fellow tall timber and Northern Beaches local Scott Fardy joins the Brumbies from Japanese side Kamaishi Seawaves where he had been playing on a one-year contract.
A former member of both the Force and Waratahs Academy systems, Fardy will be looking to take his chances in 2012 working closely with Forwards Coach Laurie Fisher.
Fardy is a Warringah Rats team mate of Wallabies star Pat McCabe, having skippered the side in 2009.
Front row combo Sio and Murphy form a formidable set weighing in at 116kg and 119kg respectively.
Sio will be the youngest player on the Brumbies books, but has already represented Australia at Schoolboys and Under 20’s level. A former member of the Waratah’s Academy, Sio’s versatility allows him to play either hooker or loose-head prop.
Murphy finds himself in Canberra having been born and bred in Ireland. A former Irish Under 19’s and 20’s representative, Murphy was schooled in the art of scrummaging at European powerhouses like Leinster and Exeter Chiefs.
Despite having spent a considerable amount of time in Australian during his youth, Murphy will count as a development player for the Brumbies in 2012.
The final member of the Brumbies EPS for 2012 is Brumbies Academy flyer Jesse Mogg, rewarded for a strong year in Canberra’s John I Dent Cup with Wests.
Mogg started his career in Brisbane with the Broncos in the Toyota Cup in 2009 before being picked up by the Brumbies the following year. A traditional fullback/winger, Mogg is gifted with size, speed and a quality kicking game.
Brumbies preseason training will begin Monday, 24 October, with all members of the squad (other than touring Wallabies) back in the Capital to prepare for the 2012 season.
Manly local who won a competition in the ARC with Central Coast Rays. Sigg is a quality lineout jumper with international experience having played with Parma in Italy through 2010.
Enjoyed stints with both the Waratahs and the Force in their Academies before earning a one-year contract with Japanese side Kamaishi Seawaves. Fardy is a Warringah Rats team mate of Pat McCabe and former Captain of the Northern Beaches side.
POS: Utility front row
Sio is a former Waratahs Academy member who represented the Australian Schoolboys through Trinity Grammar in Sydney’s CAS competition. A versatile front-rower who can switch between loose-head prop and hooker.
Ruaidhri (pron: Rory) Murphy
Irish born and raised, Murphy represented Ireland at Under 19 and 20 level before being picked up by the Exeter Chiefs in the English Premiership. A promising talent who loves scrum time, Murphy is contracted as a foreign player.
POS: Outside backs
Mogg has been part of the Brumbies Academy for the last two seasons, staring in 2011 with a magic length-of-the-field try against the Junior Waratahs. Originally a rugby league player, Mogg was a member of the 2009 Brisbane Broncos Toyota Cup team.