5/18/2013

Five Brumbies included in Wallabies squad to face Lions


Uncapped Wallabies Ben Mowen and Christian Lealiifano will join test veterans Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander, while flying winger Joe Tomane gets an opportunity to add to his one cap.

For Brumbies Captain Ben Mowen, the test call up is a massive reward after being a key performer in the last two seasons guiding the ACT back up the Super Rugby table.

Since coming across from the NSW Waratahs at the end of the 2011 season, Mowen has played 27 out of a possible 28 games for the Brumbies and been a supreme leader, directing the forward pack around the park.

While Mowen was somewhat unlucky to miss a test call up in 2012, his form so far this season has been outstanding, averaging 80 metres a game and scoring four tries, propelling him into test calculations.

But despite Mowen’s excitement in getting the opportunity to face the Lions, he is also making sure his focus still remains on the Brumbies and their target of making their first finals series since 2004.

“It’s obviously an awesome responsibility and privilege to be a part of that squad and it’s certainly not lost on me but the focus for us over the next couple of weeks is purely on getting results for the Brumbies,” Mowen said.

“It’s a good space for the guys now, obviously it’s a great reward for myself and the other guys to be involved in the squad, but it makes it really easy now for us to purely focus on the Brumbies over the next two weeks.

“Obviously it was a bit of a bittersweet weekend for me, I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty dark about a pretty ordinary second half performance (against NSW) and then to obviously get a call like that, I am extremely excited.”

For 25 year old Christian Lealiifano, the opportunity to represent the Wallabies has been a lifelong goal and dream for the veteran of 64 Super Rugby caps.

After making his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies in 2008 against the Crusaders, Lealiifano has gradually improved to become one of the most dangerous attacking playmakers in the competition.
 It’s this attacking ability that almost launched Lealiifano into a Wallabies jumper half way through last season, but due to a season ending leg injury any chance he had of pulling on the famous green and gold jumper were quickly lost.

While Lealiffano was shattered at the time, he admits he does feel in better shape this season and with a strong pre-season under his belt, he feels confident and ready to take on the Lions.

“It’s been a long road and its been one of my goals for a long time and I guess its a reward for not only myself but for my family and friends and everyone that has supported me along the way, “ Lealiifano said.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, a lot of my focus has been on last weekend and this week, so it hasn’t sunk in at all. I think once you get to camp and your in and around that kind of environment then it probably will.

“I feel really excited and humbled that I have been given an opportunity to face the Lions.”

The five Brumby players will join the rest of the squad when they attend the first team camp on June 3, ahead of the first test at Suncorp Stadium on the June 22.

The University of Canberra Brumbies face the Auckland Blues this Saturday night at Eden Park, Auckland with kick off at 5.35pm AEST.

Ben Alexander
Prop
H/W: 1.89m, 120kg
DOB: 13/11/1984, Sydney, NSW
Senior Club: Uni Norths, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 75
Super Rugby Points: 75 (15t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2008 vs Reds, Canberra
Test Rugby Caps: 48
Test Rugby Points: 15 (3t)
Test Rugby Debut: 2008 v France, Sydney

Christian Lealiifano
Flyhalf
H/W: 1.79m, 95kg
DOB: 24/09/1987, Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Club: Tuggeranong, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 64
Super Rugby Points: 406
Super Rugby Debut: 2008 v Crusaders, Christchurch

Stephen Moore
Hooker
H/W: 1.86m, 112kg
DOB: 20/01/1983, Khamis, Saudi Arabia
Senior Club: Easts, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 112
Super Rugby Points: 35 (7t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2003 (Reds) vs Bulls, Pretoria
Test Rugby Caps: 74
Test Rugby Points: 25 (5t)
Test Rugby Debut: 2005 v Samoa, Sydney

Ben Mowen
No.8
H/W: 1.95m, 110kg
DOB: 1/12/1984, Brisbane
Senior Club:Tuggeranong, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 69 (QLD 7, NSW 41)
Super Rugby Points: 50 (10t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2006 (QLD) vs Sharks

Joseph Tomane
Wing
H/W: 1.88m, 102kg
DOB: 02/02/1990, Wellington
Senior Club: Uni-Norths, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 24
Super Rugby Points: 55 (11t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2012 v Force, Canberra
Test Rugby Caps:1
Test Rugby Points: 0
Test Rugby Debut: 2012 v Scotland, Newcastle