Brumbies props back Fisher to stay


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Brumbies & Wallabies props Guy Shepherdson and Nic Henderson say that they want current coach Laurie Fisher to remain at the club.

Last week Brumbies management announced that next year’s coach would be London Harlequins coach Andy Friend and that Fisher would be replaced.

Tight-head Shepherdson told The Canberra Times yesterday that several of the Brumbies players were in two minds over the board’s decision to replace Fisher.

Fisher has been asked to stay on as forwards coach which is the position he filled when he worked under David Nucifora before stepping up to the senior role.

Shepherdson was confident he wouldn’t be the only player to express hope his forwards mentor would accept the alternative position and stay in Canberra.

“I’d certainly like it if he stayed. He’s been my mentor and most of the forwards’ mentor for quite a while and I’d certainly, personally like it if he stayed,” Shepherdson said.

Fellow prop Henderson agreed.

“In terms of his technical expertise and coaching ability and in terms of forward work, there’s not many people around that have the knowledge that he does and I guess the technical nuance that he brings to the team,” he said.

“It’s not up to me whether he’s going to stay around or not but I’m sure any of the guys that you ask in the forward pack would be happy for Laurie to stay [as forwards coach] because he does have that edge that the other coaches don’t have.”

Both players also said that they would be supportive of Fisher in whichever direction he decided to go.

“That is his decision and whatever he does I’m sure that will be the right decision,” Shepherdson said.

“I don’t really understand how [the appointment process] works. These decisions are made by everyone except the players. It’s a board issue rather than a players’ issue.

“As a player you can’t get really get too involved in that. I try not to get too involved in those off-field things.”

“Individuals have different feelings about what has happened coaching-wise but it’s nothing that the players can control,” Shepherdson said.

“All we can do is concentrate on playing well and training well and getting as many wins as we can.

“It would certainly be fantastic to start getting a few more wins than we have been for the coaches that are leaving.

“Personally it’s a motivating factor to want to do well for Laurie and [assistant coaches] Matt [O’Connor] and Scriv [Nick Scrivener] or for the the coaches that are or may be leaving.”

Henderson said that the 27-21 win over the Sharks in Canberra on the weekend will give the Brumbies extra confidence heading into a tough three-week road trip to South Africa and Perth.

“It’s a shame, like last year, that what it comes down to now for us is to really get our bums into gear to win games,” Henderson said.

“We dropped a couple of crucial games at the beginning of the year and if we look back at them now, had we won we would have set ourselves up nicely heading into two weeks overseas.

“You need confidence when you go on a tour like that and the last couple of games have instilled immense confidence in us.”   

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