Edmonds trains with Brumbies

Former Stormers hooker Huia Edmonds took part in his first training session for the Brumbies when the team began its Super 14 preparations in earnest on Monday.

Edmonds, who spent three years in South Africa’s Western Province, has returned to Australia where he hopes to win the favour of Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher.

“It’s [the move] exciting. It’s like the first day of school all over again,” Edmonds told the Brumbies website.

However, the 26-year-old front rower is not taking anything for granted despite being a prominent feature of the Canberra Vikings squad that played in the inaugural Australian Rugby Championship this year.

“It’s great to catch up with the guys but no one’s under any misconceptions. This is when the hard work begins.

“Regardless of where you are, pre-season training is always tough but I think all players realise that a lot of the hard yards you put in now can transfer to success on the field during the season.”

Other new players that started training with the Brumbies on Monday included Peter Betham, Mitch Chapman and Tyrone Smith.

Former Waratahs scrum-half Josh Holmes will join the squad on 5 November while young fly-half Matt Toomua will head to Canberra after completing his Grade 12 (Year 12) examinations.

Not all Brumbies players were present at pre-season training but indications are that many players will gradually join the group over the next week, including the squad’s World Cup Wallabies.

Fisher said the pre-season training was integral towards laying the foundation for a successful year. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) team will want to improve after just missing out on the 2007 Super 14 semi-finals, when they finished the season fifth on the table.

“The game continues to evolve into a faster more physical game each year and as a result we need our players to be able meet and exceed those physical demands,” explained Fisher.

“This is the time to put money in the bank so to speak, and make some good physical gains in the lead-up to the season,” Fisher added.

The Brumbies’ pre-season preparations will culminate in trials against the Waratahs and the Hurricanes in February next year ahead of their mouth-watering season opener against six-time champions the Crusaders at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium on February, 15.

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