Butler knuckles down in push for Wallabies

With a Test series around the corner and the Brumbies’ Super Rugby season in the balance, there’s been no better time for Jarrad Butler to push for a Wallabies jumper.

The backrower has got plenty of game time this season, filling in for David Pocock while he was suspended for two matches and he’s also worn the No.8 jumper following Ita Vaea’s retirement.

“I’m really enjoying the opportunities,” he said on Monday.

“We’ve got such great depth here at the Brumbies at the moment and any time you get the opportunity you want to play the best you can and put your best foot forward.”

Butler has been touted as a future Wallaby by coach Stephen Larkham, and has also received high praise from current national coach Michael Cheika.

Cheika invited Butler to join the Barbarians last year, making him the only uncapped Australian international to be part of the tour.

Butler said breaking into the Wallabies squad was a goal this year and, with three Tests against England coming up in June, the 24-year-old is aiming to push his case over the next three Super Rugby rounds.

“It’s always an aspiration, obviously you want to be able to work into that group,” he said.

“At the moment I’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to get some minutes and you want to go the best you can for that reason, but it’s not the main reason you want to play well.

“You want to be successful as a group, as a Brumbies outfit, and then hopefully that rolls over.”

Butler made his mark in a breakout first season with the Brumbies in 2014, when Pocock suffered a second season-ending knee injury.

Back then, it was all about relishing his time at the club.

“I really enjoyed that time and now it’s time where I do want to push for further honours, but it just comes down to being on the field and trying to play well for the team,” he said.

The Brumbies regained the lead in the Australian conference with a win over the Bulls last Friday.

They sit equal on points with the NSW Waratahs and two points ahead of the Melbourne Rebels, whom they face at AAMI Park on Friday.

The Brumbies have a bye after the Rebels clash, before playing the Sunwolves at home that precedes the June international break.

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