World Cup-winning former Springbok coach Jake White has wasted no time in leaving his mark on his new team, the Brumbies.
As one of his first points of business as Brumbies head coach White has announced that all contracted players will be allocated a club in Canberra and play their rugby domestically in the .
It is in stark contrast to past seasons, when Brumbies players often travelled back to Sydney to play in the Shute Shield. It is also a move that is sure to strengthen the local competition while giving Brumbies coaching staff extra control over player workload.
The move has been supported by Canberra's club coaches and presidents who have grown tired of seeing quality talent hit the Hume Highway to Sydney to play in the Shute Shield once their Brumbies commitments are finished.
Players with prior history at a John I Dent club, like Robbie Coleman at Queanbeyan or Christian Lealiifano at the Vikings, will be sent back to their origins when they are not required by the Brumbies.
The remaining players have been sorted with considerations given to what the Canberra clubs need and the likely availability of the players.
With an extended Super Rugby season that almost eclipses the John I Dent Cup, the reality is that many players will not feature in the Canberra competition.
But clubs will still be given access to big name players, to attend team functions, award events and game days.
White said the change had taken place so his players could be more easily managed while strengthening the local competition.
"I want people to be able to come and to a game here in Canberra and watch the best players in the ACT," White said.
"There is no reason why we can't have our top line players strengthening the local competition. It will be good for rugby in Canberra and I'm sure it will work to attract better players not only to the Brumbies but the John I Dent Cup as well.
"I'm not interested in having players travel back to Sydney to play with a club team on Tuesday and Saturday. It's about encouraging them to be a part of the ACT community."
* Meanwhile week three of the pre-season has been a tough one as the boys contend with wet and humid conditions.
Heavy rain on Tuesday meant the players returned to the clubhouse after a field session looking more like they had been training for a bronze medallion at Manuka Olympic Pool than running on grass.
But it hasn't been all bad weather wise. Canberra managed to turn on its best spring charm over the weekend and new guys like Ben Mowen and Siliva Siliva had been impressed with the quality sunshine hours here in the Capital.
Players have spent the week in the EyeGym - a new training method designed to train the eye for better peripheral vision.
The system works on computers with players testing their reflexes and ability to spot gaps.
The designer of the program, Sherylle Calder, has been at Brumbies HQ and will continue to train the boys through to the end of the season.
Previously Calder worked with White during their 2007 World Cu-winning campaign, the All Blacks, England (during their 2003 World Cup-winning campaign) and various other rugby teams.
Calder has also worked in professional cricket, F1 motor racing, horse racing and numerous other high speed sports.
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