Brumbies preview 2013
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 12/02/13 11:18am
The Brumbies came agonisingly close to gatecrashing the play-offs last season but a home loss to the Blues in the final round of fixtures proved costly.
That meant the Reds clinched the Australian Conference title - courtesy of their bonus-point win over the Waratahs - while the Crusaders, Bulls and Sharks also won to leapfrog ahead of them.
However the Brumbies did tremendously well to be in that position in the first place - with few giving them a chance at the start of the campaign.
Jake White will now look to build on this platform, with the young stars at the franchise set to be better for the experience - although they haven't been handed the kindest of schedules.
Continuity could be key, though. Brumbies might have lost the services of the highly-rated Michael Hooper and Cam Crawford to the Waratahs, however they have pulled a rabbit or two out of the hat.
The signing of David Pocock, arguably the No 1 pilfer in world rugby, is a real coup while it will be interesting to see how Clyde Rathbone gets on in his his long-awaited return to action.