Speight played for Waikato from 2008 to 2011. Photo: Skysports
Chiefs boss Dave Rennie was left ruing the one “that got away” after Brumbies flyer Henry Speight’s showing in Saturday’s play-off in Canberra.
Although he did not manage to score one of the Brumbies’ four tries, Speight proved a real handful in his side’s 32-30 victory.
He kept the Chiefs defenders on their toes, gaining 186 metres, 13 tackle busts, two linebreaks, three offloads and 13 runs.
But things could have been different as the 26-year-old could so easily have played for the Hamilton-based franchise. He played for Hamilton Boys High School and also represented Waikato at provincial level from 2008 to 2011.
But, according to Rennie, the previous Chiefs coaching staff “didn’t rate” Speight very highly and he made his Brumbies debut, against the Chiefs, in Canberra in 2011.
“He got away before I got there, unfortunately,” Rennie said after Saturday’s play-off defeat.
“We spoke to him when I first got up to Hamilton about trying to get him back. We were pretty keen.
“But it’s tough to see him move now.”
Speight has signed a two-year contract extension with the Brumbies and will finally be eligible to represent Australia in Tests from September 11.
And Rennie is certain he is ready to shine at international level.
“Oh hell yeah,” he added.
“He’s been ready for a while.
“You give him the ball, even with two guys in front of him he’s either going to get yardage or skin people.
“He really troubled us.”
- Planet Rugby