Slipper’s 150th highlights Brumbies’ clash

Alex Mitchell |

Wallabies champion James Slipper says his 150th Super Rugby appearance is “just another reminder of how old I am”, but that won’t stop his Brumbies teammates trying to deliver a win to celebrate.

The 110-Test prop will notch the milestone in his home state of Queensland, when the Brumbies travel to Suncorp Stadium to battle Fijian Drua on Saturday night.

Slipper, 32, said he was certainly feeling his age, particularly in a lineup featuring a few faces.

“The boys have given me a bit of stick this week, but it’s obviously a special week for me, it’s just another reminder of how old I am and how long I’ve been around for,” he told reporters.

“Having friends and family there will make it a bit more special.

“We’re coming off the back of a pretty disappointing performance against the Reds … we’ve prepared well this week, we’ve worked hard.”

Having joined the Brumbies in 2019 after 104 caps across nine seasons for Queensland, Slipper reflected positively on his time in Canberra.

“The move has been great and I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.

“I’ve extended for another year, so that will bring my total to five years here … It feels like yesterday I arrived.

“I’ve really enjoyed it, not just the Brumbies but Canberra itself, it’s a place I really enjoy being and I feel it gets the best out of my rugby.”

Slipper is one of the experienced players remaining in a rotated Brumbies lineup featuring a number of new faces, include maiden starts for hooker Billy Pollard and flanker Ed Kennedy.

Coach Dan McKellar said winger Jesse Mogg would miss at least six weeks with a knee injury, while gun flyhalf Noah Lolesio will return from injury after the Drua clash.

Scrumhalf Nic White, who fills in as captain this week in Allan Alaalatoa’s absence, described Slipper as “phenomenal”.

“In terms of the type of guy you want to look up to, ‘Slips’ is it,” he told reporters.

“He leaves it all on the field, he’s an ultimate professional, I can’t think of a more deserving guy to get his 150.

“It’s a lot on the rest of us to make sure it’s a special night for him.”

The Brumbies would expect to handle the Drua, especially having beaten them 42-3 in February.