There were no get-out clauses, no dramas for the ACT Brumbies’ future and a Jake White no-show as the Robbie Deans Wallabies coaching saga unravelled on Monday.
White pulled out of a planned press conference in the morning before news broke that Queensland Reds mentor Ewen McKenzie would replace Deans as national coach.
It is great news for Brumbies fans, with White staying to complete the two years remaining on his contract. The Brumbies had already moved to shore up their playing roster, locking in their future playing roster with the announcement of the re-signing of three more important players.
Lock Sam Carter has penned a two-year extension, while loose forward Fotu Auelua and centre Andrew Smith have re-signed for one more year.
Captain Ben Mowen, Wallabies star David Pocock, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore and Pat McCabe all re-signed with the province.
Carter’s deal will take him through to the end of White’s contract.
But the two-metre tall son of a former Wallaby didn’t think the speculation surrounding his coach would disrupt the Brumbies’ preparation for a massive game against the Western Force at NIB Stadium on Saturday.
A bonus-point win could move them into the top two on the Super Rugby table if results go their way.
Carter felt White and the rest of the coaching staff had built a strong culture and structure at their Griffith headquarters, regardless of who was in charge.
”I’m just really happy down at the Brumbies, it’s the perfect fit,” Carter said.
”I came down here three years ago and we’ve got a good culture building down here and I couldn’t think of where I’d rather be.
”I think we’ve built something really good over the last two years here, so regardless of what happens we’ll be fine down here.”
Auelua said there were no get-out clauses in his contract that would have allowed him to leave with White. And he thought a one-year contract would help him get the best out of himself to try and earn another deal.
The human wrecking ball said he was over his shoulder injury and gunning for selection for the important Force game.
”I don’t want to be in a comfortable position where you sign two years now – and I’m not getting any younger, so it’s more of a motivation thing for me,” Auelua said.
”Signing a one-year deal will give me more of a push to try and get better and stay here as long as I can.”
Smith was just hopeful his injuries were behind him after making his comeback from a hamstring strain in the Brumbies’ historic win over the British and Irish Lions.
The outside centre considered his options overseas but never considered playing for another Super Rugby province.
He felt the set-up White created in less than two years was where he wanted to be.
”I wouldn’t look anywhere within Australia but possibly overseas,” Smith said. ”In the end, it was the just right decision.
”It’s a good time to be at the Brumbies – there’s a really good program and culture in place here.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.