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White fears Brumbies missing finals due to Lions

Brumbies coach Jake White fears that the ARU's plans for the Lions could harm his team

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Article Published: Wednesday 30 January 2013|

Brumbies Super Rugby coach Jake White believes that the Australian Rugby Union's plans to remove their Test players for matches prior to the British and Irish Lions tour are blatantly unfair.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) plan to quarantine their Test players in the rounds before the British Lions tour by keeping them in a Wallaby camp which could last three weeks.

The plan has been criticised by Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, Waratahs coach Michael Cheika and now White has joined them.

White believes that the Brumbies will be worst hit if they lose their Wallabies even though he expects the Reds and Waratahs to lose more players than them.

The Brumbies have a match in Canberra against the Melbourne Rebels on June the 7th and as the match is their second last fixture White desperately wants the likes of David Pocock, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander and Pat McCabe available.

That same weekend the Waratahs play the Force and the Reds have a bye but will play the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium.

White knows how a season can fall apart in the final weekend as his Brumbies lost to the Blues in the final round of the regular season and the coach says that every competition point could will be hugely important to his team's play-off hopes at that stage of the competition.

"Last year in the last round our whole season changed so I find it highly unlikely that in the last rounds this year that the expectations from anybody would not be to play your best teams," he told AAP.

"We're all happy to help (the Wallabies) but it's making sure everyone wins. We can't have this situation."

Reds coach McKenzie said that he would make the compromise of allowing his Test players to leave for camp on the 2nd of June but hoped that they would return towards the end of the week to play that weekend.

"Ewen is in a different situation because he's talking about a Lions (tour) game and he also has a very settled team," he said.

"It makes no difference if one guy (Quade Cooper) boxes one Saturday and plays the next Saturday - there's not many teams who can afford that.

"The Waratahs have a Wallaby pack of forwards who play together every Saturday - if it's not for the Waratahs it's for the Wallabies.

"We're in a very different situation.

"We can't afford to lose four guys or five guys and then by Saturday they're back to play."

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