Brumbies form warrants Test dominance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brumbies form warrants Test dominance

By Jim Morton 29/03/2004 07:07:56 PM Comments (0)

ACT coach David Nucifora has warned his Australian Super 12 rivals that Wallabies jerseys will be hard to earn if his Brumbies continue on their merry way.

Nucifora believes his players deserve to dominate Test selection if they keep to their slick table-topping standards.

The Brumbies form and individual worth was highlighted in Canberra on Sunday when they humiliated Queensland 51-8 in a seven-try rout.

That they crossed seven times in the last 50 minutes against a side which conceded only one try to 2003 finalists Auckland Blues and Canterbury Crusaders speaks volumes for ACT's attack and slick backline.

If a Test team was selected at the half-way point of the Super 12, Brumbies players could easily demand more than half the starting positions.

Nucifora, who agreed, said he felt individuals Test claims and fine form had been helped by the impressive team performance.

ACT would virtually be certain of five representatives in a Test backline with only Queensland fullback Chris Latham and NSW winger Lote Tuqiri, outside of the national capital, deserving places.

Stephen Larkham, Matt Giteau, Stirling Mortlock and Mark Gerrard all demand selection on form, while a more relaxed George Gregan seems to have thrived without ACT captaincy and remains the favourite for the No.9 jersey over Chris Whitaker.

It is less clear cut in the forwards, where pack balance will be a major factor for coach Eddie Jones, but George Smith and Bill Young are run-on certainties while big men Owen Finegan, Mark Chisholm and David Giffin have strong claims.

The likes of NSW front rowers Brendan Cannon and Al Baxter, flanker Phil Waugh and Queensland lock Nathan Sharpe possess the experience and stability that will give an inside running into Tests against Scotland and England in June.

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