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Brumbies firing for Super derby with Tahs

NZN 14/03/2017 Matt Coughlan

With the blowtorch on Super Rugby, the Brumbies are themselves turning up the heat as they prepare for a fierce derby against the NSW Waratahs.

The Brumbies sit atop the Australian conference after recording their first win for the season last week at home to the Western Force, while the Waratahs return from a disastrous trip to South Africa where they suffered two heavy losses.

Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea said facing the Waratahs always lifted the intensity at training.

"There's a lot to play for, it's going to be a really fierce encounter I reckon," Mann-Rea said.

"Tah week is a very special week for the Brumbies.

"This week everyone's a little bit more amped and training is a little bit more physical."

While the Brumbies are one of three Australian teams along with the Force and Melbourne Rebels with seemingly uncertain futures, Mann-Rea believes the five-team formula is working.

"All we can do is play well and roll with the decision that they go with. It's out of our hands," he said.

"We all want five teams. I think it works for Australia."

Saturday night's match at Allianz Stadium is the only time the Brumbies will get to face the Waratahs this season, with the lack of local derbies outlined by Australian coaches as a major issue with Super Rugby.

"They're good for Australian rugby," Mann-Rea said of local derbies.

"We only get to play (the Waratahs) once this year so it makes it even more special. I'd like to have a few more derbies."

Wallabies prop Scott Sio is in line to make a comeback from a hamstring injury while flanker Scott Fardy is expected to return to the fold after being rested for the 25-17 win over the Force.

Queensland-born Ben Hyne replaced Fardy for the Brumbies' win over the Force and is hoping to retain a spot in the squad for his first Waratahs clash.

"Growing up as a Queenslander I definitely hate New South Wales," Hyne said.

"The boys talk about Tah week and how excited everyone gets for it and how intense the training gets when the week comes around.

"I'm always out to prove myself that I want to be there and I'm capable to be there."

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