Wallabies reaping rewards from new foreign-based arrivals
The Wallabies’ mid-week billiards battles have become a competitive outlet to cope with their sudden glut of Rugby Championship options.
Nic White will return to the starting side at stand-out No 9 Tate McDermott’s expense on Saturday as Australia seeks back-to-back wins over world No 1 South Africa.
White seized his chance when an injured McDermott didn’t return in the second half of Sunday’s two-point win, playing with a fury that captain Michael Hooper is well acquainted to.
“Nic’s not angry, he’s competitive and he’s ultimately competitive,” he said ahead of their Suncorp Stadium clash.
“Had a pool competition this week and … we got towards the end and there’s no talking, we’re into each other, he just wants to win everything.
“You can imagine, this guy hasn’t played a huge amount of rugby, so he gets on at halftime, he’s buzzing to make a difference.
“You love to play with guys that just want to win and compete.”
“He’s 27, still has so much footy ahead of him,” Hooper said of his old back row partner, who is based in Japan and like Kerevi allowed to play under Rugby Australia’s loosened eligibility laws.
“Brutal in defence … and he has some of the best leg drive in the business.
“He’ll bust through tackles with sheer belligerence.”
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper expects more of the same, only better from South Africa as their world No 1 status goes on the line in Brisbane. #AllBlacks #Springboks #Wallabies #RugbyChampionship #TRC2021 https://t.co/twAXEEfotJ
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 18, 2021
Even before McMahon’s late arrival in camp there was back row depth, with Lachie Swinton and Rob Valetini partnering Hooper and Pete Samu off the bench.
“It’s awesome having competition and depth for positions – managing that is the tricky part,” Hooper said.
“The guys who aren’t, and there’s a lot of them not in the 23, we’ve seen some great attitude from them.”
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