27 September 2019

Next generation Brumbies on display in Rugby Championship

| Tim Gavel
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Canberra Vikings coach and captain at Viking Park.

Canberra Vikings head coach Nick Scrivener with captain Darcy Swain, ahead of their game against Fijian Drua on 28 September. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra Vikings head coach Nick Scrivener has worked hard to ensure his current squad of players understands the history they share. He wants them to completely understand the efforts of ACT representative teams of the past and the legacy they carry.

The Vikings effectively descended from the Canberra Kookaburras, a team that played in the NSW Premiership in 1995, the year before the Brumbies started.

By 1999 the Kookaburras had become the Vikings, achieving enormous success along the way. They are playing in no fewer than four different competitions: the Queensland Premiership; the revamped NSW Premiership; the Australian Rugby Shield; and more recently, the National Rugby Championship (NRC).

Scrivener says it’s important his players understand the history of the team with players coming from different club and Super Rugby sides, merged into one for the two-month NRC.

”The Canberra Vikings and the NRC are vital for ACT rugby union,” says Scrivener. “I wanted to make sure the current group of players had an appreciation of the history and an understanding of where the team has come from.”

It is one of the reasons why, in the game against Brisbane City two weeks ago, the side wore the colours of the Canberra Kookaburras.

For Scrivener, as a coach it is different from coaching a club-side week in week out in the John I Dent Cup.

“It’s a different challenge,” he says. “It’s not easy getting synergy between and amongst Wallabies, professional Super Rugby contracted players and club players in the same team. But it’s very enjoyable to coach this team.”

It’s also an important competition for the players although each is playing for different reasons, as Nick explains: “Everyone is playing for something. There are young players trying to establish themselves, and others use it to prepare for Super Rugby.”

For many Canberra players, it has been an important competition to launch their professional careers.

Canberra Vikings captain Darcy Swain is one of those players looking to use the NRC as a platform to establish a regular starting position in the Brumbies Super Rugby side for 2020. So far this season he has proven his leadership qualities, on many occasions, he’s led by example.

Scrivener also acknowledged the support of the Vikings Group. Without the Vikings it’s unlikely the ACT would be in a position to field a side in this competition.

The Canberra Vikings remain in the race for the finals heading into this weekend’s game against the Fijian Drua at Viking Park.

“We probably played our worst game of the season against the Force,” says Darcy Swain following the loss to the Western Force last Saturday, but he knows his side is ready to bounce back.

The game against the Fijian Drua is the first of three home matches in a row.

Saturday, 28 September 2019
Canberra Vikings v Fiji Drua
Viking Park, Erindale. Kick-Off: 12:00 pm.

For more information visit Canberra Vikings.

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