White eyes Wallabies No.9 jumper
June 1, 2014
Brumbies 37-10 Rebels (video available in Australia only)
The Wallabies No.9 jumper means everything to Nic White. And the plucky Brumbies scrum-half did his best to snatch it off incumbent Will Genia in Saturday's 37-10 Super Rugby win over the Melbourne Rebels.
White and his halves partner Matt Toomua were sensational in the six try thumping. White gave the last pass for three tries, including both of Toomua's, and made a couple of sniping linebreaks - one of which led to Sam Carter's match sealer. With Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie watching on from the Canberra Stadium stands, it was the perfect audition leading into next Saturday's first Test against France in Brisbane.
And White didn't shy away when asked how much it would mean to him to get just his third Test starting gig. "It's everything mate. It's what you play for. You play to start. And you play to play in Test matches against big teams," he said.
However with Genia starring for the Queensland Reds in his 100th Super Rugby match against the Highlanders, and Nick Phipps continuing to impress for the Waratahs, White admitted the No.9 jersey remained up for grabs. "It's a good problem for Ewen to have. It's all good headaches," he said.
Toomua on the otherhand will battle team-mate Christian Leali'ifano as well as firing Waratahs duo Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley for an inside backs spot in injured fly-half Quade Cooper's absence. It's clear he wants to play at fly-half, but said he'll be thrilled with a spot anywhere in the starting side.
"My name has been bracketed as a centre. I obviously want to be in the 15. So if that's centre I'll do all I can," he said.
Meanwhile, former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen said he was content with his decision to give up Test rugby for Europe rugby next year.
"I will be intensely jealous when they run out and sing that anthem and get to play," he said. "But I'm very content with where my future is."
Brumbies prop Ben Alexander will also miss the three Test series with a nerve compression neck problem.