Peter Betham will replace Henry Speight in the Wallabies squad. Photo: Skysports
Waratahs wing Peter Betham will join the Wallabies Rugby Championship squad, after Brumbies flyer Henry Speight was sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury.
Speight, who becomes eligible to represent Australia from September 11, suffered the injury in the second half of the Brumbies’ recent Super Rugby semi-final clash against the Waratahs in Sydney.
Betham replaces Speight in the Wallabies squad and will now push for further representative honours after earning his international debut for Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Dunedin last year.
Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White scores against the Chiefs last week. Photo: Skysports
Brumbies scrum-half Nic White admits getting inside the head of Waratahs full-back Israel Folau is a pointless exercise as he is a “genuine freak”.
White, whose men play in Sydney on Saturday for what’s a huge semi-final between the stand-out Australian sides in 2014, said he was unaware of any sledging of the Wallaby number fifteen that took place in their fixture earlier in the regular-season and added it clearly had no effect.
“I don’t know [what happened], we’ve got a few quiet islanders out there but if they did, they poked the wrong bear,” he told the Canberra Times.
Stephen Larkham believes Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is “rubbing his hands together” as he waits for Henry Speight to become eligible for action.
The Brumbies coach was speaking after wing Speight’s outstanding performance against the Chiefs, which saw him break the line 12 times.
September 11 is the day the Fijian-born player becomes eligible to play for Australia and for Larkham he can imagine how McKenzie feels.
Speight has been medically cleared to play in the Super Rugby semi-finals on Saturday, Photo: Australian
Australian rugby is salivating at the thought of ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight pulling on a Wallabies’ jersey later this year, but the Fijian flyer has been forced to postpone the dream of two of his siblings watching him play Super Rugby in Australia.
But he hopes an application will be successful later this year, which could open up the possibility of them watching him play for his adopted country when he becomes eligible on September 11.
The good news is his brother Sam, who saw him play at Canberra Stadium for the first time on Saturday, has extended his stay until Sunday, allowing him to watch the Brumbies’ semi-final clash against Super Rugby minor premiers NSW Waratahs at the Sydney Football Stadium this weekend.
Waratahs winger Rob Horne is keen to take on Henry Speight in their semi-finals clash against the Brumbies on Saturday. Photo: News Corp
NSW Waratahs winger Rob Horne has accepted the challenge of stopping Brumbies flyer Henry Speight in the Super Rugby semi-final in Sydney on Saturday night and has invited the ACT side to continue playing expansively.
Speight was sensational in the Brumbies’ 32-30 win against the Chiefs in the qualifying final in Canberra last Saturday night and looms as a major threat to the Waratahs.
While Horne normally defends in the midfield for the Waratahs, he is expected to stay on his wing to try to contain Speight.
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.
Henry Speight attacks for the Brumbies against Bundee Aki of the Chiefs. Photo: Skysports
Wins for the Sharks and Brumbies on Saturday confirmed the lineup for the 2014 Super Rugby semi-finals next weekend in Christchurch and Sydney.
As the lowest ranked side to make the last four, the Brumbies must travel to Sydney to face the Waratahs, who finished first in the standings at the end of the regular season.
The Sharks meanwhile are heading over to New Zealand to face the Crusaders, who finished in second place.