White banks on Mowen’s captaincy

Jake White believes the appointment of Ben Mowen as Brumbies captain will have great long-term benefits for a young ACT side.

White raised more than a few eyebrows when he picked John Smit as the Springbok skipper back in 2004, but the decision proved to be inspired as Smit led the Boks to a World Cup victory in 2007.

White has since moved on to a head coaching post at the Brumbies, and once again has made an interesting decision to back Mowen, the former Waratahs loose forward, to lead the Canberra-based side.

‘He’s got what I want in terms of leadership,’ the World Cup-winning coach told reporters. ‘The club needs something new – that’s a reality. That’s not taking anything away from the boys that have been here, but there’s a new group here and the dynamics are different.’

The Brumbies have lost a number of senior players over the past two seasons. Past captains include Wallabies like Stirling Mortlock (now with the Rebels) and Matt Giteau (Toulon).

Mowen impressed White when he led the Brumbies against the Reds in last week’s Super Rugby warm-up match in Cairns. The player understands the challenge that faces a Brumbies team big on potential but short on experience, and yet he remains optimistic.

‘Representing a side with not many Wallabies in it, that’s perfect,’ Mowen said. ‘Like Jake, I’ve got a huge self-belief in what we’re doing here and the blokes that we’ve got. We can be successful this year.’