Big boost for potential Wallaby

A potential Wallaby's hopes of facing the Lions have been given a boost after being appointed captain of his Super 15 franchise. [more]

Big boost for potential Wallaby

A potential Wallaby’s hopes of facing the Lions have been given a boost after being appointed captain of his Super 15 franchise.

No8 Ben Mowen is yet to appear for the Australian senior side but has today been appointed skipper of the Brumbies.

The 27-year-old only moved to Canberra during the Australian off season after being discarded by previous employers the Waratahs.

But new Brumbies boss Jake White has clearly seen something special in the former youth international who has seen off the likes of Wallaby veteran Stephen Moore and star centre Pat McCabe for the captain’s armband.

"With so many new faces it's taken time for the team to settle, but from the time he arrived you could see that Ben is a leader and that he has the respect of the team," said White.

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"He has a long history of leading teams. In particular, his work with the 2005 Australian Under 21s was impressive."

Being handed extra responsibility at his new side means that, unless things go horribly wrong this year, Mowen will be the favourite to lead out the Brumbies when they host the Lions on June 18.

And the promotion could mark a significant step in Mowen’s career as he looks to finally earn recognition from his country.

The 6ft 5 in, 18 stone back rower was a star at junior level but has failed to repeat the feat in top-tier rugby.

An single appearance for the Reds was followed by a far more impressive 40 across three seasons at the Waratahs but Mowen has never truly looked like forcing his way into the Wallaby starting line up.

Wycliff Palu, Ben McCallman and 35-year-old Radike Samo have all worn the Wallaby No8 shirt in recent times but stepping into the limelight with the Brumbies for the new Super 15 season could be the boost his career needs.

Finally winning a Test cap isn’t really on Mowen’s mind at the moment, however, as he turns his attentions to ensuring the Brumbies bounce back from a hugely disappointing campaign last time out.

The former champions finished 13th in the standings in 2011 but Mowen is convinced improvements will eb made this term.

"I'm excited because I believe in what the team can do," said Mowen.

"We have been together for close to nine months now as a team and we have seen the benefit of those combinations through the trials.

"We have spoken about the need to be desperate as a group, and what we will and won't accept from each other as our standards for 2012.

"It's not a rebuilding year we are here for. I feel very fortunate to be chosen to represent the group, and I can see a huge self-belief building within the team."

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