Maitland Blacks junior Nic White has been making big inroads into the Super Rugby competition in 2012 after making his starting debut for the ACT Brumbies at the start of the season.
The halfback was given the nod and hasn’t looked back, helping steer the resurrected Brumbies around the park and to the top of the Australian conference after 12 rounds of competition.
With the Brumbies having the bye last week White was back in the Hunter visiting family and friends, giving Mercury sports journalist Josh Callinan a chance to catch up with the 21-year-old in Maitland.
Josh Callinan (JC): It has been an impressive start to the season for the ACT Brumbies in 2012.
Nic White (NW): A lot of people say we have surprised them but I guess we haven’t really surprised ourselves.
We have been together since June last year and the home games that we have won we expected ourselves to win.
So surprised, a little bit, yes and quietly impressed with ourselves, but at the same time we haven’t really reached the goal that we want to reach.
W haven’t achieved anything yet and only six wins from 10 games isn’t exactly impressive.
JC: Still some work to do then, but in terms of this season compared to last it has been a big change. What have you noticed and what has helped the Brumbies along to this position?
NW: I have been down there a while now, three years, and I have seen the down side of where the Brumbies were the last couple of years and last year was hard for the fans and the players and the whole organisation.
But this year Jake White has come across as coach and he has brought a whole new staff, he has done a fair big clean out with 12 new players in the 30-man roster.
And I guess he has brought a whole new attitude of back to the future and back to where the Brumbies used to be of I guess what they used to call rejects.
A lot of fringe players from other franchises and all young blokes working hard, we’ve got an opportunity and we’re taking it with two hands.
So I think that is the best thing he has done. He has us in the right frame of mind to work hard and that’s what we’re happy to do.
JC: The program for you guys has you pitted together most of the time, has that helped on the field as well?
NW: Yeah, definitely. We eat breakfast together; we spend the whole morning together, we eat lunch together and then we break up for an hour or two, which is needed by about that time because most blokes get annoyed with me (laughs).
Then we come back in and spend the afternoon together training out in the field so it builds pretty big friendships.
We all live together in the same suburb in Canberra, you see enough of each other, we have been together since June, we know each other’s ins and outs and what buttons to push, which isn’t good sometimes.
But it seems to be paying off and all the boys really want to play for each other, for the team and for the ACT so I think we are seeing real benefits from it.”
JC: From your end at the base of the scrum have you been pleased with your won performance and cement that starting spot at number nine?
NW: “I knew it would take me a while to feel comfortable out there.
I’m not exactly stoked with my pass and my kicking game is coming along but still not exactly where I want it to be.
But I’m just happy I’m starting to feel comfortable out there and starting to feel able to do what I want to do and not just out there as just another number.
I’m out there to do a cause and play my role as the number nine in the team and lead the team around the park.”
* The Brumbies play the Hurricanes in Wellington, New Zealand, on Friday.