The Plus500 Brumbies are in Singapore this week and are busy getting out to local schools, meeting up-and-coming Singaporean rugby players and making the most of the hotel buffet before they take on the Asia Pacific Dragons in the inaugural Austbrokers Cup on Thursday night.
They are joined by a Canberra Business Chamber trade mission delegation who are making exciting connections with the Singaporean business community, before sitting down to cheer on the Brumbies on Thursday evening.
Among the Brumbies squad in Singapore are some strong Canberra advocates, and none more so than Canberra local Tom Staniforth.
Having grown up in Canberra, attended Canberra Grammar School and progressed through the Brumbies elite pathway, Tom credits the intimate nature of Canberra as helping him launch his career in rugby.
“Canberra’s pretty lucky because of its size; everyone matches up against each other. The club system is really good,” Tom said.
“I’d describe it as a big country town; everybody knows everybody. You wouldn’t be able to go to a function without meeting someone who knows your mum or who knows your cousin, who knows your brother, so it’s really interconnected.”
“We are so lucky with our fan base in Canberra; the local community really get behind us and support us when it counts.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Staniforth’s team mate Tom Banks, who made the move to Canberra from Queensland in November 2016.
“Everyone has made the move here so enjoyable, from the boys to the coaching staff to the wider Canberra community.
“The fans are so loyal and that’s such a big thing to have in Canberra. When we were in Argentina earlier this year we had fans travel over for the game, which is amazing to see.”
“Running out on to Canberra stadium is such a great experience.”
The Canberra business community and the Plus500 Brumbies were hosted by His Excellency, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Mr Bruce Gosper last night, where Brumbies CEO Michael Thomson told the audience that the team’s trip to Singapore was all about building community and engagement in this part of the world.
To watch the Brumbies take on the Asia Pacific Dragons, check out the live stream here, from 9PM AEST.