Brumbies Mowen & Mogg hope to impress in Africa

Brumbies captain Ben Mowen and Jesse Mogg plan to use their tour of South Africa not only to set up the Brumbies Super Rugby season but also to use the tour as auditions for the Wallabies.

The pressure is on for all Australian Rugby players this season due to the British and Irish Lions tour which only comes around every 12 years – perhaps 16 years now that Argentina have been added to the Rugby Championship.

A player could easily have an entire career playing international rugby and still miss out on playing the British and Irish Lions.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was at Canberra Stadium on the weekend and watched the Brumbies hammer the Waratahs.

Deans wanted to see first hand how Brumbies captain Mowen and flying fullback Mogg have developed since he selected them in extended Wallabies squads last year.

Mogg is one of the form players in Australian Rugby currently and also gave Deans a first hand view of his pace when he easily outpaced the already speedy winger Lachie Turner.

Deans is now keen to see how Mogg and Mowen go the Sharks in Durban and the Stormers in Cape Town.

“That’s where you meet some of your international opponents,” Deans told The Canberra Times.

“It’s easy to get up against someone you see as a rival domestically, but the rubber really hits the road when you start playing against some of the best in Africa and New Zealand.”

Mogg has scored three tries in three matches this season playing at both fullback and on the wing and has also had a hand in setting up tries like Robbie Coleman’s bonus point try against the Waratahs.

Mogg appears to have found extra pace this season and his territorial kicking has been keeping the Brumbies deep in opposition territory.

Brumbies coach Jake White spotted Mogg playing Canberra club rugby for Wests in 2011 and his 19 Super Rugby caps give him a serious chance of playing against the Lions.

“We know he’s got that (pace), now everyone knows it, which is a great asset obviously,” Deans said.

“He’s found his niche in the group and they’re using him to good effect.

“He’s on the radar; it hasn’t gone unnoticed, his contribution to the team. “I guess now it’s about backing up in the next few weeks.”

Mowen also showed a surprising turn of pace against the Rebels when he beat Wallabies back Kurtley Beale on his way to scoring a try two weeks ago.

Deans says that he has kept in touch with Mowen and more consistent performances this season could win him a place against the Lions.

“Benny’s been on the fringe, he’s been on training camps with us previously and we’ve had a lot of dialogue with him and he’s got a good understanding of what we’re looking for,” Deans said.

“To be fair, he’s taking steps to get it done. “

‘He’s playing with a presence and he’s always been a leader within the group, which is an asset.

“He’s always been running the line-out well.

“He wants to be a serious contender, he doesn’t want to be on the fringe and I think he’s showing that,” added Deans.

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