The Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies don't have to look far for motivation as they prepare to add another chapter to their storied history at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
The two teams have been the benchmark of the Australian sides over the past five years, with Stephen Larkham's men taking a narrow 23-17 win in their last encounter a month ago.
As the action returns to Suncorp Stadium, the Reds' motivation to perform is multi-layered.
To start with, they have won their last seven against the Brumbies in Brisbane, including their 2021 Super Rugby AU Final heroics, out to continue this streak,
Not only this, the Reds' overlooked Wallaby contingency are well aware of what a strong performance will do for the World Cup ambitions.
Brad Thorn's men accounted for just four selections in Eddie Jones' 33-player squad compared to the Brumbies' 13, as the likes of Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott and Jock Campbell missed out.
“There’s a lot more motivation for some of the boys to put out a good performance against the Brumbies,” centre Josh Flook said, one of six uncapped players selected for the Wallabies' April camp.
"They are at the top of the Australian side at the moment and they deserve to be there. We’ve had some good matches against them in the past, similar to round three so hopefully, it’ll be a really good game this Friday.
“We’re able to compare ourselves against them and we’re all fighting for jerseys and higher honours above that. It’s a lot of talented boys playing against each other so it brings the best out of each other.”
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As for the Brumbies, they have their eyes set on the top two and know a win over the Reds gets them one step closer whilst solidifying their claims to being the best side in Australia.
“I think we’re improving every week and those tight wins are going to be big at the back end of the season," prop and new Wallabies call-up Blake Schoupp said.
“As the Brumbies have done in the past, you want to dominate those Australian teams and put yourself up there with competing with the top end of the competition. This week is another challenge to do that.”
Schoupp is expected to return to the Brumbies' line-up after missing the narrow win over the NSW Waratahs as Stephen Larkham continues to freshen up his side following an intense start to the season.