Stephen Moore is hoping to do “something special” with the Brumbies this Super Rugby season to mark what’s seen by many as the end of an era.
The Wallabies skipper is leaving the Canberra franchise to return to the Queensland Reds next year, with fellow Australian stars Matt Toomua and Joe Tomane also off to play in Europe.
There’s a chance they could be joined by David Pocock, who is considering a year-long study sabbatical in the UK.
But Moore doesn’t feel their looming departures create any more pressure for a result in 2016.
The Brumbies have bowed out in the semi-finals the past two seasons, after having lost the 2013 decider.
“Whether you’re staying on or moving on, what we do this year will be with us as part of our careers,” he said.
“So it’s an opportunity to do something special. That’s all it is, an opportunity.”
Moore believes hard work and consistency is what’s needed for the Brumbies to seize that opportunity and win their first title since 2004.
Physically, the co-captain reckons the side are better prepared heading into their season-opener against the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium on Friday than they were at this point last season.
And that’s despite a host of World Cup stars only rejoining the squad for training in January.
“Physically we’re in good shape,” added Moore.
“But that only gets you so far. You’ve got to make sure you gel as a team.
“I’m sure it won’t be perfect on Friday night but we’ve trained pretty well and we want to go out there and play well.”
Friday’s fixture marks Moore’s 150th Super Rugby game, becoming just the sixth player in the competition’s history to reach the milestone.
He is also among only a handful of players who have racked up 100 caps with both the Brumbies and Wallabies, alongside the likes of George Smith, George Gregan and Stephen Larkham.
“It makes me feel a bit old, I guess,” said Moore.
“When you start out you don’t ever think that’s going to happen, but I’ve been really lucky along the way to have relatively few injuries.”
There’s a chance he could be Super Rugby’s first 200-gamer if his injury-free run continues with the Reds, .