Nic White sends message to Robbie Deans
May 26, 2013
Scrum-half Nic White was impressive in the Brumbies' victory over the Blues © Getty Images
Nic White sent a clear message to Wallabies coach Robbie Deans with his commanding performance in the Brumbies' important Super Rugby away win over the Blues.
A week after failing to make Deans' initial 25-man squad to take on the touring British & Irish Lions, scrum-half White pulled many of the strings in a desperate wet- weather victory in Auckland on Saturday night.
It was a timely performance because Deans has still to choose his deputy to regular Wallabies halfback Will Genia, controversially leaving the door open for former Wallaby Luke Burgess to return and gain selection when he names the remaining six squad members.
Burgess, who left Australian rugby to chase a lucrative overseas contract, is on his way to Melbourne to join the Rebels after his side Toulouse was beaten by Matt Giteau's Toulon in the French Top 14 semi-final on the weekend.
With regular Wallabies back-up Nick Phipps also overlooked but firing for the Rebels, White needed another standout game and that's what he produced in a scrappy, ugly, yet clinical seven-point victory.
The Brumbies recorded a valuable away victory over the Blues (video available in Australia only)
With the Blues boasting dangerous counter-attacking backs such as Charles Piutau, Frank Halai and Rene Ranger, White ensured his high balls were close enough to give chasers time to hit the ball carrier.
So effective was one of White's kicks that the ball spewed out of an ensuing ruck, and the 22-year-old pounced.
After toeing it ahead, he looked as though he may lose the footrace before he showed the smarts to slide early in the wet weather and hug the ball the full six metres to the try line.
"I thought he played really well," coach Jake White said. "At the end of the day that's fantastic for (White's) cause going forward."
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham