The Brumbies are refusing to use the lure of a home final as motivation for their make-or-break clash against the Western Force, despite knowing they can avoid an international journey if they win on Friday night.
The Brumbies will aim to break a six-year hoodoo of losing last-round fixtures when they play the Force, declaring their only focus is winning the clash at Canberra Stadium to secure a place in the finals.
Beating the Force will likely secure a home final in the opening round of the playoffs, setting up a blockbuster interstate battle against the Waratahs the following week.
Playing two finals in Australia would be a major boost for the Brumbies' title aspirations, after a draining travel schedule hurt them in the dying minutes of last season's Super Rugby grand final.
"We aren't thinking about anything beyond this game against the Force because if we win, we're in, but if we lose, we're out," said second-rower Leon Power. "It's a playoff game for us already. We're putting everything into beating the Force.
"If we look ahead it will come back to bite us."
Hosting a home final also carries the added bonus of a financial boost of up to $400,000, depending on attendance.
A win against the Force will guarantee a finals berth.
The loser of the match can still secure a playoff spot if they get a bonus point and the Blues beat the Chiefs.
The Brumbies were on the road for 35,000 kilometres - to Perth, Pretoria in South Africa and Hamilton in New Zealand - in the last four weeks of last year and it took its toll on the team.
The Brumbies will be boosted on Friday by the return of injured Wallabies Matt Toomua, Sam Carter, Pat McCabe and Joseph Tomane, while Josh Mann-Rea will start at hooker.
Toomua, Carter and Mann-Rea will start, while McCabe and Tomane are set for bench spots.
"We've finished on the wrong end of the tightness of the competition in the past, but every side in the competition has the capacity to beat anyone," said Brumbies' director of rugby Laurie Fisher. "Matt Toomua at 10 has been integral to our game this year ... and then you've got depth with Joe and Patty."