Brumbies ‘Mr Fix It’ juggles degree and Super Rugby ambitions

If anyone’s qualified to be the ACT Brumbies’ ‘Mr Fix It’, it’s James Dargaville.

The versatile Brumbies back has been nominated for the Rugby Union Players Association’s academic achievement award as he nears the completion of his civil engineering degree..

But the 25-year-old, who was an intern for Transurban as part of the M2 upgrade in Sydney before moving to Canberra, has his sights set on game time next year.

Dargaville played all but one of his 10 games as a specialist winger in the Super Rugby season, but spent time at inside centre for the Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championship.

The Brumbies are stacked for back line talent next year, with Dargaville competing with Chance Peni, Lausii Taliauli and Andrew Muirhead for a spot on the wing and Kyle Godwin for the No. 12 jersey.

Dargaville is also weighing up starting a degree in finance to add to his work load, but he says outside interests help put rugby in perspective.

“I think it’s good to have something on the side [of rugby] and figure out what I’m going to do next,” Dargaville said.

“We’ll see what this next year brings. ???I’ll keep studying and learning a few things.”

Dargaville is one of several Brumbies nominated for RUPA awards, with a function to be held in Sydney on Wednesday.

Banks, Tom Cusack and Rob Valetini have been nominated in the top 10 for the NRC player of the year while Allan Alaalatoa and Henry Speight have been nominated for the medal of excellence.

Brumbies recruit Isi Naisarani is in contention to be the newcomer of the year, and Australian sevens captain Sharni Williams is one of 10 nominations as the people’s choice player of the year.

Hooker Robbie Abel has been nominated for the community service award after dedicating a large chunk of his time to volunteering to work with disadvantaged young people and their families.

The awards function will be a brief reprieve from an intense pre-season schedule, with first-year coach Dan McKellar ramping up the training load to prepare for next year.

The club’s Wallabies representatives, as well as Christian Lealiifano and David Pocock, will restart training in January.

“We want to raise the bar [in fitness] next year,” McKellar said.

“We’re constantly looking at GPS data and communicating with Ben Serpell and the athletic performance team, we’re always pushing the boundaries.

“This is the time of year to do and being aware that we’re going to have a high spike … it’s about training hard but training smart.

“From my end, we’ve generally been a fit side at the Brumbies, but I want to push that to new level so that at the end of games we can be at our best.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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