The Brumbies provided a platform through the Super Rugby season for what should have been a successful 2022 Wallabies Rugby Championship campaign.
After all, the Brumbies defeated the Chiefs, the Highlanders and the Hurricanes in the regular season, then accounted for the Hurricanes again in the quarter-finals before going down to the Blues by one point in the semi-finals.
But this was not to be. As things turned out, the Wallabies’ campaign in the Rugby Championship, following the series loss to England, was disappointing to say the least.
The Wallabies had just two wins from six tests, culminating in the 40-16 loss most recently to the All Blacks at Eden Park.
Eden Park is difficult for Australian sides at the best of times, but following a game where the Wallabies were highly competitive and lost in somewhat controversial circumstances, a close game was expected.
And it doesn’t get any easier for the Wallabies as they prepare to head to Europe for five tests, including games against the world’s top two ranked teams, France and Ireland.
This brings me to the Brumbies 2023 Super Rugby Pacific draw, which was released on the weekend.
The Brumbies will be required again, most likely, to do the heavy lifting for Australian rugby in a World Cup year.
Given the Brumbies’ success this season, not only against Australian teams but New Zealand teams as well, you would expect them to be leading the charge. They have pretty much the same squad that took them to within one game of the final.
Next season, the Brumbies face the top two New Zealand teams, the Crusaders and the Blues, away from home. They also take on the Hurricanes in Wellington.
The Brumbies play the Chiefs and the Highlanders at Canberra Stadium. The Highlanders game will be a Sunday afternoon match on 14 May.
There are seven games in the regular season in Canberra, starting with the round three match against Queensland on 11 March, after away games against the Waratahs and the Blues.
So for rugby fans, there’s plenty to like about the Brumbies 2023 draw. The team’s success will potentially lay the platform for the Wallabies World Cup campaign.