ACT Brumbies halfback Nic White ready for Wallabies starting spot and kicking duties

Nic White in action against the Rebels on Saturday. Photo: Jeffrey ChanACT Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White admits a starting spot for the Wallabies is “everything” to him and is ready to shoulder the goalkicking duties if called on by coach Ewen McKenzie.
Nanjing Night Net

White put forward his case to beat Will Genia and Nick Phipps for the No. 9 jersey with a brilliant display on Saturday night, leading the Brumbies to a bonus-point win against the Melbourne Rebels while McKenzie watched from the stands.

And it’s his goalkicking prowess that could give him the edge in the three-way tussle as McKenzie attempts to finalise a line-up for the opening Test of a three-game series against France.

White, Christian Lealiifano, Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley loom as the likely kicking options for the Wallabies.

White is the only goalkicking scrumhalf in the Wallabies squad and has a 75 per cent success rate this season sharing the role with Lealiifano.

“[Starting] is everything. It’s what you play for,” White said.

“You play to be in big games and you play to start in Test matches against big teams, so it’s everything to me.

“It’s out of everyone’s hands … I definitely feel comfortable kicking, you work hard at it and give yourself the best chance of it working.

“Goalkicking helps and I’ve been practising just in case. Christian is taking a little while to get his rhythm back, but I’m his biggest backer.”

Ten Brumbies players joined the Wallabies in camp on Sunday after keeping their Super Rugby finals hopes alive with a 37-10 thumping of the Rebels.

Prop Ben Alexander has been forced to withdraw from the Test series because of a neck injury while hooker Stephen Moore is expected to be named captain on Monday.

Winger Henry Speight will train with the Wallabies for 10 days, despite not being eligible to play for Australia until September 11.

Pat McCabe, who has broken his neck twice in his past two Tests in 2012 and last year, also launched a bid for inclusion in the first-Test squad this week.

Lealiifano and Matt Toomua are battling for the Wallabies No.12 jersey but McKenzie could opt to keep NSW Waratahs duo Foley and Beale together as the flyhalf-inside centre combination.

Toomua has spent almost all his Super Rugby career as a flyhalf and shifted to inside centre on the Wallabies’ spring tour last year.

McKenzie has bracketed the 24-year-old as a centre instead of a flyhalf but hasn’t ruled out using Toomua as the chief playmaker.

“To be honest, I don’t know much about the situation … my name has been bracketed as a centre, so that will be interesting,” Toomua said.

“I obviously want to be in the [starting] XV, and if that’s at No.10 or No. 12 I’ll do all I can to be there.

“It will be interesting to see the mix there, but I’d like to be in there. I do feel comfortable [at inside centre].”

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham backed White and Toomua to help guide the Wallabies to a series victory over France.

White has started just two of his 10 Tests while Genia is the incumbent scrumhalf.

“Whitey was disappointed with the way he played in South Africa. He felt as though he contributed to the losses over there and [against the Rebels] was one of the best games I’ve seen him play,” Larkham said.

“He can definitely step up to start … [Toomua] is certainly someone who can play very well at that next level, whether that’s at flyhalf or inside centre. He can handle the big games.”

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