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Academy pair graduates to Brumbies contracts

Brumbies Rugby
Tuesday May 19, 2009

Brumbies Academy utility back Pat McCabe and prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa have signed with the Brumbies for two and three seasons respectively.

The pair has been on Brumbies Academy Tier One contracts during the 2009 Super 14 season but will join the senior squad on a permanent basis for 2010.

Yanuyanutawa was a standout front rower during the 2008 Shute Shield. The explosive loosehead prop scored 10 tries in the Sydney club rugby competition, including a runaway try in Sydney University’s 45-20 grand final win over Randwick. He was also selected as the only non-Investec Super 14 player in the Australia A squad for the Pacific Nations Cup.

Yanuyanutawa, nephew of Fijian rugby great Waisele Serevi, says he’s looking forward to continuing his rugby progress with the Brumbies.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last seven months in Canberra and the coaching and environment at the Brumbies have helped me develop as a player,” he said.

“I would obviously love the opportunity to play Super 14 but at the moment I’m more focused on developing my skills as a prop to give myself some longevity in the Brumbies front row.

“Bill Young was a big draw card in my decision to sign. He’s helped the Brumbies scrum considerably this season and I know he’s the best person to continue teaching me the technical aspects of scrummaging.

“Friendy [Andy Friend] has also been helpful, not only as a coach, but as a mentor as well. I think it’s important to surround yourself with the best people and in the right environment to best develop as a player and for me, that’s at the Brumbies.”

McCabe, predominantly a fullback and outside centre, is a former Australian Under 19’s representative and member of the 2007 Mazda Australian Rugby Championship-winning Central Coast Rays.

The 21-year-old was crowned Warringah’s Best & Fairest in 2008 and has excelled in his three appearances for the Brumby Runners in 2009.

McCabe says he’s keen to make the step up to Super 14 rugby.

“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to stay in Canberra,” he said. “Next year is a big opportunity for myself to regularly train – and hopefully play – alongside the likes of Stirling Mortlock, Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

“We are all aware of the potential of the side next season and having the opportunity to be a part of that is very exciting.

“My dream is to play Super 14 and I’ll be keen to get a good pre-season under my belt and do what I can to be in contention come February.”

Brumbies Head Coach Andy Friend says McCabe and Yanuyanutawa are two of a number of outstanding players in the Brumbies Academy.

“Both Jerry and Pat have been very committed to their rugby and developing their games since joining the Brumbies program,” he said.

“Jerry’s an extremely dynamic and powerful front rower. He’s very mobile, very strong and is a prototype of how props will continue to develop. His transition to the front row is only relatively recent but he’s already shown what a capable footballer he is and that he will only continue to improve in his new role.

“Pat’s a very reliable footballer who has a habit of popping up where he’s most needed on the field. He doesn’t miss tackles, he runs the lines he needs to run and he doesn’t make many mistakes.

“He’s the sort of player you would feel very comfortable having represent you on the field and there’s no question he’ll make a good account of himself when he gets his opportunity.

“It’s very pleasing to see these guys working their way through the Academy and into the top side. It not only shows the great work that [Brumbies Academy Head Coach] Darren Coleman is doing with the guys but shows that our development structures are working.”

Pat McCabe

Position: Fullback/centre
Physical: 1.85m, 94kg
Born: 21.03.1988, Sydney
Super 14 Caps: -
Super 14 Points: -
Super 14 Debut: -

Jerry Yanuyanutawa

Position: Prop
Physical: 1.76m, 110kg
Born: 10.04.1985, Labasa (Fiji)
Super 14 Caps: -
Super 14 Points: -
Super 14 Debut: -

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