Brumbies' captain's run, AAMI Park
Photos from the Brumbies' Super Rugby captain's run at AAMI Park on Thursday, February 21. Photo: Getty Images
Jake White will ramp up player negotiations to get ''clarity'' for the ACT Brumbies' future and believes there will be a ''domino effect'' as he continues to put long-term faith in his squad.
The Brumbies are in talks to keep scrumhalf Nic White in the capital until at least the 2015 season but insist a deal has not been finalised.
The Canberra Times can reveal White is also trying to secure some of his off-contract players - including versatile back-rower Colby Fainga'a - as he puts his four-year plan in place.
White is seeking clarification from a number of players about their plans to stay in Canberra or move to a new team. The South African is keen to have the majority of his off-contract players on new deals in the coming months as he juggles a 30-man squad and the ARU's salary cap.
Brumbies captain Ben Mowen and Wallabies Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore and David Pocock have already signed until the end of 2015, which coincides with the final year of White's contract.
The coach views Nic White as an important part of the Brumbies becoming the best team in the competition.
However, the Brumbies have also expressed interest in former Wallabies No.9 Luke Burgess, who will return from a stint in France later this year.
It is understood White's decision to stay or go will be the determining factor in whether the Brumbies chase Burgess' signature.
It's likely White will recommit to the Brumbies despite lucrative overseas offers, but negotiations are ongoing.
''We're still finalising our squad … with salary caps and limited players in a squad, one of the things you need is clarity as soon as you can,'' White said.
''We're working with Nic. It would be fantastic if he decides to stay because he has proved his a talent, not only for the Brumbies but also for Australia in the future.''
The Brumbies are aiming to continue their winning start to the Super Rugby season when they play the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday night.
They beat the Queensland Reds in the season opener last week and a victory against the Rebels will be crucial to setting up their campaign to make the finals.
The Brumbies have lost to the Rebels just once in four contests, but that one loss was the start of the darkest time in the club's history.
Just a few days after falling to the Rebels in 2011, coach Andy Friend was sacked and a new era started.
White took the coaching reins last season and started to rebuild the Brumbies' squad. He put blind faith in unheralded players and was rewarded with a stronger than expected season last year.
Now the aim is to make the finals for the first time since 2004 and White is continuing to back the talent in his roster.
''Jake has a very good understanding of the blueprint of the types of players he wants in certain positions,'' skipper Mowen said.
''When you get the training and opportunities guys have got in Canberra, you want to make sure you continue it through and there's a very strong feeling in this group that we want push for a championship.
''We started building towards that [at our first camp in 2011] at Narrabeen and when you're involved in the early stages, you want to see it through and the guys have taken ownership.
''We're not trying to buy talent, we're building from within and I think that's a unique thing.''
White established himself as one of the most promising scrumhalves in Australia last year.
He earned a place in the Wallabies' game-day squad for the Rugby Championships, but failed to get on the field, with Will Genia playing 80 minutes in each match.