Sports

Godwin to go out with a bang as Brumbies chase drought-breaking win

Departing ACT Brumbies back Kyle Godwin is determined to go out with a bang in his final Super Rugby matches, but says he has buried his Wallabies ambitions to focus on snapping a five-game losing streak.

Godwin will start in back to back games for the Brumbies for the first time in more than two months as he edges closer to the end of his stint in Canberra.

Kyle Godwin is back in the Brumbies' starting side for the second week in a row.

Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

But the one-Test Wallaby wants to ensure his immediate Super Rugby career doesn't end in a whimper and he could force his way into international contention if he shines against the Pretoria Bulls on Saturday night.

Godwin will start at inside centre and continue a playmaker combination with Christian Lealiifano. The Wallabies coaches will be watching closely given Australia's depth problems at inside centre and flyhalf.

Godwin made his Wallabies debut on the spring tour of Europe two years ago, but injuries have stalled his rise and he will leave Australian rugby at the end of the season to link with Irish club Connacht.

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"With the Wallabies, your performance in Super Rugby takes care of everything else. [Test selection] isn't a big focus of mine, I'm still trying to cement a a permanent spot in the Brumbies, so that's where my thoughts are," Godwin said.

"I want to make sure I finish off with a high in Super Rugby. I'm not closing the door on [a possible] return in the future, I see myself returning one day.

"But for me, I want to make sure I contribute the best I can to have a good year and make sure the Brumbies finish off well."

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has made just two changes to the starting XV after a loss against the Johannesburg Lions last week.

Lachlan McCaffrey moves to blindside flanker to replace the injured Rob Valetini, while Blake Enever gets an opportunity to start at lock after Rory Arnold was suspended for three weeks.

Rookie hooker Connal McInerney, Nick Mayhew, Richie Arnold and Wharenui Hawera have been added to the reserves list as the Brumbies fight to avoid an unwanted losing record.

The Brumbies have lost their past five games in a row. Another defeat would equal the club's worst losing streak and be the first time in 20 years the Brumbies have lost six in a row.

But the mood in Brumbies camp remains high after moving their base to Rustenburg before the clash against the Bulls.

The one area they must fix to give them any hope of toppling the Bulls at the intimidating Loftus Versfeld will be their discipline.

The Brumbies conceded 20 penalties, including two yellow cards and a red card, in the loss to the Lions.

"We need to have a chat about that and focus on why we got penalised, then improve on that," Godwin said.

"It's a team effort. The boys as a collective have to be working and knowing when the penalties are coming, but it's something we can fix.

"It was disappointing we didn't get the win last week, but we did show improvement in the areas we were targeting. In the end, it didn't get us the win which is the most important thing.

"The Bulls are going to be fired up. They're going to try to bounce back from a loss last weekend so we're expecting a strong, fiery side. So we're ready for that."

SUPER RUGBY ROUND 15

Saturday: Pretoria Bulls v ACT Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld, 11.05pm. TV time: Live on Fox Sports.

Brumbies: 15. Tom Banks, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Andy Muirhead, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Isi Naisarani, 7. David Pocock, 6. Lachlan McCaffrey, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Blake Enever, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Folau Faingaa, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Nick Mayhew, 18. Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19. Richie Arnold, 20. Tom Cusack, 21. Matt Lucas, 22. Wharenui Hawera, 23. Andrew Smith.

Chris Dutton

Chris Dutton is a sports reporter at The Canberra Times.

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Sports

Godwin to go out with a bang as Brumbies chase drought-breaking win

Departing ACT Brumbies back Kyle Godwin is determined to go out with a bang in his final Super Rugby matches, but says he has buried his Wallabies ambitions to focus on snapping a five-game losing streak.

Godwin will start in back to back games for the Brumbies for the first time in more than two months as he edges closer to the end of his stint in Canberra.

Kyle Godwin is back in the Brumbies' starting side for the second week in a row.

Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

But the one-Test Wallaby wants to ensure his immediate Super Rugby career doesn't end in a whimper and he could force his way into international contention if he shines against the Pretoria Bulls on Saturday night.

Godwin will start at inside centre and continue a playmaker combination with Christian Lealiifano. The Wallabies coaches will be watching closely given Australia's depth problems at inside centre and flyhalf.

Godwin made his Wallabies debut on the spring tour of Europe two years ago, but injuries have stalled his rise and he will leave Australian rugby at the end of the season to link with Irish club Connacht.

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"With the Wallabies, your performance in Super Rugby takes care of everything else. [Test selection] isn't a big focus of mine, I'm still trying to cement a a permanent spot in the Brumbies, so that's where my thoughts are," Godwin said.

"I want to make sure I finish off with a high in Super Rugby. I'm not closing the door on [a possible] return in the future, I see myself returning one day.Read More »

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