Brumbies eye fast start - White
Brumbies boss Jake White has revealed that he will field his strongest starting XVs in both pre-season matches as they target top spot in Super Rugby's Australian conference after the first four weeks.
White outlined his team's ambitions for this year's tournament and said that they hoped to emulate last season's fast start while ensuring they do not repeat their poor effort in the latter stages of the competition when a semi-finals spot was up for grabs.
The Canberra-based outfit kick off their campaign with matches against the Reds and Rebels before a third round bye and a clash with the Waratahs.
The former Springbok coach hopes his side can hit the ground running by fielding his best side available for the warm-up games against the Western Force on February 1 in Darwin and an ACT XV in Canberra one week later.
"It's already made up in my head," he told AAP.
"I know what we're looking for and I've already explained that to the players.
"In the first month we've got the opportunity to head the conference again and that means that we've got to put the best side together on the field.
"There's no time to swap jumpers ... we might as well get started and get the team that we think is going to start (the competition) playing as much as possible between now and the first round."
The Brumbies were on course to secure a home semi-final, in last year's competition, but lost 36-14 to the lowly Blues in the final round of the tournament's league stages.
That result ended their play-off hopes and their dream of a first final since 2004.
Captain Ben Mowen revealed that that result would be use for motivation purposes in 2013.
"It's spoken about a lot because it was at such an important stage of the year," he said.
"That's going to be a loss that we can refer to to make sure our attitude is right because any time our standards slip we know we don't get the result we're after."
After last year's impressive results and the recruitment of Wallabies flanker David Pocock, the Brumbies want to be amongst the tournament's frontrunners.
"We're very comfortable with that," Mowen added.
"We don't want to be the side that rattles a few cages. We want to be the side that's pushing for the finals and for that top spot."