Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore says his side can’t afford to be distracted by the highly publicised return of former coach Jake White to Canberra.
The Sharks will make the trip to Canberra Stadium for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash, eight months after White ended his Brumbies contract two years early before joining the South African franchise.
With both sides currently sitting first and second, many believe White’s premature departure has done the Brumbies no real harm.
However some players, according to captain Ben Mowen, would be privately “filthy” at the way he left the club.
Moore played down White’s return on Monday, saying the whole thing was a non-issue.
He added that he wouldn’t even be thinking about White until he had a chat with him after the game.
“There is a lot of peripheral stuff,” Moore said.
“That stuff can only be a distraction.
“We’re playing the top team in the competition, so that’s the important thing.”
Moore admitted he was a little shocked when told of White’s departure from the club in October, but say he’s now moved on.
“I’m fine with it,” he said
“It’s not an issue.
“That stuff happens in football. It’s happened before and it will happen again.”
Brumbies prop Ben Alexander said they wouldn’t be making any wholesale tactical changes against the Sharks just because White had inside knowledge of their structures.
“You’ve got to try and find what’s been working well for you, refine it, and stick to it,” he said.
“Not change it because the opposition might know what’s coming.”
He said last week’s 40-20 thumping at the hands of the Crusaders provided them with a timely lesson ahead of the top-of-the-table clash.
“To get touched up like that, maybe it is a bit of a reality check,” he said.
“You learn the most from your losses and we’ve really analysed those lessons.”