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Brumbies combine for Wallabies charge


David Polkinghorne

Christian Lealiifano after his horror ankle injury in 2012.

Christian Lealiifano after his horror ankle injury in 2012. Photo: Graham Tidy

A ''hungry'' ACT Brumbies five-eighth Christian Lealiifano got his first taste of life as a Wallaby since last year's horrific ankle injury at a photo camp in Sydney on Monday.

And he'll get his first chance to stake his claim for the Wallabies' No. 10 jersey in round one of the Super Rugby season against Quade Cooper and the Queensland Reds.

Lealiifano was one of seven Brumbies on the one-day camp, along with fellow vice-captains David Pocock and Stephen Moore, Nic White, Joe Tomane, Pat McCabe and Dan Palmer to take part in photo shoots and TV commercials.

They will return in time for Brumbies training on Tuesday.

Lealiifano looked set to get his maiden Test cap against Scotland last year when he fractured and dislocated his ankle against the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium in May.

The 25-year-old was having such a good season he finished equal second in the Australian Super Rugby player-of-the-year award despite playing only 10 games.

And ACT scrumhalf White said his vice-captain was determined to come back from ankle and shoulder surgery an even better player in 2013.

''He's had a bit of time off but that's only made him hungrier, especially for this Wallaby jersey, and I think you'll see Christian firing again in 2013,'' he said.

To get his first Wallabies cap Lealiifano might need to displace the enigmatic Cooper.

With Queensland Reds scrumhalf Will Genia out with a knee injury, the chance is also there for White to establish himself in the Wallabies team.

If all the stars are aligned the No. 9, 10 and 12 jerseys could be in the hands of the Brumbies - which hasn't occurred since George Gregan, Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau played together in the 2007 World Cup.

White said he'd love to play for his country alongside Lealiifano and McCabe.

''It does help having a combination with your state and I know I'd feel a lot more comfortable making a debut with Christian outside me,'' he said.

''I know Christian would feel very comfortable there knowing inside and outside him there are blokes he's played with before.''

But White's main focus is getting ready for the Brumbies' pre-season games.

A shoulder reconstruction ended his chances of the Wallabies' spring tour of Europe and his jaw was fractured from a king hit at Canberra's Foreshore music festival.

White has returned to full contact training and was confident he'd be ready for the Super Rugby season.

He has extra competition for his starting spot, with both Ian Prior and Mark Swanepoel trying to pinch the No. 9 jersey from him.

''I'm just getting over the shoulder now, did contact [work] last week and should be ready to fire for the trials, just looking forward to the season,'' he said.

The Brumbies have two trial games - against the Western Force in Darwin on February 1 and then against an ACT XV in Canberra the following week. Their season starts against the Reds at Canberra Stadium on February 16.

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all

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