After a long four year wait ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight has finally become eligible to suit up for the Wallabies, but it wasn’t his long-term wait to become a Wallaby that had Speight so happy over the weekend, but the Australian government ending years of heartache by granting his family visitor visas.
The Fijian-born star and his five siblings were reunited for the first time in seven years over the weekend, with Davila and Jerry allowed into the country just days after Speight became eligible to play for Australia.
After two rejected visa requests, Speight said it was “the best feeling in the world” when his siblings were finally granted visas after his siblings sent in one last application with supporting letters from Speight and the Brumbies.
“I will channel all of my energy into playing now. I don’t have to worry if I am eligible [to play for the Wallabies] and I know my family can come out,” Speight told Fairfax Media. “I will give everything I’ve got if I get the chance to play and the aim is to be ready to play against New Zealand in Brisbane next month, what better occasion could you ask for?”
However, Speight will have to continue to wait before he can become a Wallaby after he suffered a hamstring strain which is set to keep him out of the Wallabies for at least a month. But the set back hasn’t disheartened the Speight with the wing telling Fairfax Media he was going to “give everything I’ve got” to turn the Wallabies back into the powerhouse side they once were.
Despite this set back Speight wasn’t disappointed for too long after he spent time in Melbourne soup kitchens and missions as he took a break before attempting to break back into the Wallabies team.
“That really made me realise that a few weeks out isn’t anything, it was a humbling experience,” he said. “I grabbed a mattress and slept on the floor and I was there for a few days. It put things in perspective for me. I’m out for a few weeks but others are going through harder things than I am and then there’s also [retired Wallaby] Pat McCabe. I’m just happy I will get my chance to play.”
Speight now plans to prove his fitness through the NRC with the Canberra Vikings while he hopes to have his siblings in the crowd if he makes his debut in the final Bledisloe Cup match at Suncorp Stadium on October 17.