Super 14
Huxley to make miracle comeback
March 24, 2010
Brumbies utility back Julian Huxley watches his team-mates against the Sharks from the sidelines as he recovers from a brain tumour, April 19 2008
Julian Huxley watches his team-mates from the sidelines back in 2008 © Getty Images

Julian Huxley has been named on the Brumbies bench to face the Chiefs at Canberra Stadium on Saturday two years after leaving the game to receive treatment for a brain tumour.

The utility back will make the mother of all comebacks in the round seven Super 14 game after his career seemed over with the shocking medical diagnosis at age 27 - not that Huxley ever doubted he would come back.

"It's something I always thought I could do but didn't know if it would happen,'' Huxley told Fairfax Media. "The day has come and it seems like two years has gone like a flash. I'm back there I guess. It's been a long road but rugby has taught me a lot in getting through my tumour ... there's also things I've learned through the brain tumour that has made me a more relaxed person and a better footballer these days.''

Huxley has been rebuilding fitness and form for the Brumby Runners feeder side, and so impressive have his two performances been, and so valuable his leadership qualities, that Brumbies coach Andy Friend brought forward his return to the senior squad by a few weeks.

Friend said: "On review of our performance on Friday night in Auckland [where the Brumbies lost 39-34 to the Blues] and through the course of the year, one of the big things we've found is our lack of talk as a back line, lack of controlling things and communicating.

''I look at 'Hux' and I see a bloke who is very, very good at those things. He's a good organiser and that's what we need, some structure. It's a big day for Julian Huxley, for the Brumbies, and for rugby in general.''

Michael Hooper will make his Super 14 debut at openside flanker for the injured George Smith, while Huxley is joined on the bench by Colby Faingaa and tighthead prop Guy Shepherdson in the other changes.


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