Super Rugby
Waratahs, Brumbies rubbish talk of 'Wallabies trial'
ESPN Staff
March 19, 2015
Will Skelton (top) will come up against Wallabies rival Sam Carter © Getty Images

The Waratahs and Brumbies have attempted to distance themselves from talk of a "Wallabies trial" in Sydney on Sunday despite the fact many head-to-head battles carry Test significance.

The two sides will reignite their fierce rivalry under the gaze of Wallabies and Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, and his newly-appointed national assistant and Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham. And while the two coaches are very much focused on their respective Super sides, a few mental notes made are sure to be as they prepare to come together for Australia's World Cup assault.

The players, however, aren't buying into talk of a "Test trial" - not publically anyway - with Waratahs lock Will Skelton and Brumbies prop Ben Alexander each declaring their sole focus was Super Rugby.

Skelton, who alongside skipper Dave Dennis will combat Wallabies rival Sam Carter and rising lock Rory Arnold, said consistency in Super Rugby held greater value for Test selection rather than one-off efforts against the other Australian sides.

"I don't think so, like I think at the moment from now until July, I think, is the (Super Rugby) final, it's all about the Waratahs, well for me it is," Skelton told The Big Sports Breakfast. "And I think the Brumbies are thinking about the Brumbies.

"There might be players out there thinking about the World Cup and that, but then they'll get caught up; they won't perform and then they won't make the squad. Cheika made it very clear that if you're performing well in Super Rugby then you'll get a selection there.

"So for me, personally…it's (World Cup) not in the back of my head. But it's a tough encounter; they're a big rival of ours and I'm looking forward to running out there against the boys."

Alexander, who has been in red-hot try-scoring form with three in his last two matches, said the Brumbies' Wallabies hopefuls didn't have a point to prove to Cheika and were completely focused on maintaining their spot at the top of the Super Rugby ladder.

"It will be a big battle. But we're just worried about winning," Alexander said. "No one is going out to prove a point to Cheik. What Cheik thinks will take care of itself."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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