Australian Super 15 side given a boost with the retention of classy playmaker.
Star five-eighth Matt Toomua has re-signed with the Brumbies for another three Super Rugby seasons and hopes fellow Wallabies playmaker Christian Lealiifano will follow suit.
Toomua, who made his Test debut in 2013 under coach Ewen McKenzie, said it was a no-brainer to remain in Canberra.
“Knowing the rugby program there and knowing the coaches, the players, the town, the city, that all helps,” the 24-year-old said.
“I’ve been loving it there. I feel like my game is progressing and I hope to continue to progress and I think that’s the best place for me for that to happen.”
Specifically, Toomua said playing under Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham was a major attraction.
“You can’t really ask for much better. He’s one of the best 10s ever in Australia,” Toomua said.
“Also, he’s such a recent five-eighth. He still understands the game. It hasn’t changed too much since he was playing.”
With Toomua locked away, Brumbies fans will be eager for Lealiifano, 26, to remain in the national capital.
“I really enjoy it there. I love playing there and it’s where I started my career,” Lealiifano said.
“We’ve just got to try and find out what is best for my career moving forward.”
Lealiifano played 13 Tests for the Wallabies in 2013 after making his international debut under McKenzie, and is one of Toomua’s direct opponents for a place in the national team.
At the Brumbies, the pair have forged a formidable midfield combination and are one of the prime reasons behind the side’s rise to Super Rugby title contenders.
“I’m not sure where Christian’s at with his contract negotiations, but I’d love to have him down there,” Toomua said.
Toomua and Lealiifano’s Brumbies go head-to-head with the Sharks and former coach Jake White in a top-of-the-table clash on Friday night in Canberra.
White walked out on the Brumbies midway through his contract after leading the team to last year’s final, and Toomua said it would be foolish to think the South African’s return was not a factor.
“It’s the elephant in the room that he turned us around and now he’s coaching another team that is the only other team ahead of us,” he said.
“So we’ve obviously spoken about it.”