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Brumbies Henry Speight and Joseph Tomane use NRC to launch Wallabies selection bid

Canberra Vikings players, Henry Speight, left and Joe Tomane have some fun ahead of Saturday's game.

Canberra Vikings players, Henry Speight, left and Joe Tomane have some fun ahead of Saturday's game. Photo: Graham Tidy

Wallaby in waiting Henry Speight will use his first National Rugby Championship appearance to prove he's ready for Test duties as he prepares to end a four-year wait to play for Australia.

Speight will play for the Canberra Vikings on Saturday, counting down the days until he's eligible to play for the Wallabies and hoping the Department of Immigration finally clears his siblings to visit Australia.

Fijian-born Speight's drawn-out eligibility saga will end on September 11, making him available to play for the Wallabies against South Africa on September 13.

Immigration is still refusing his brother, Jerry, and sister, Davila, temporary visitor visas to Australia because they are deemed a risk of becoming asylum seekers.

But even if they remain in Fiji, Speight has vowed to do everything in his power to make them feel a part of his Test debut if he is selected next week, including sending photos home from the Wallabies' change rooms.

"It's nine days to go, but who's counting?" he grinned.

"It's been a tough one for me. I certainly had a few doubts in my mind [if I would ever play for Australia]. I just want to prove myself and make sure when the date comes around I'm in contention.

"It's been almost four years now ... I'm excited. I haven't said that before because I've been ticking the days off from months, to weeks, to days.

"But now it's in single-digit days. It's been a long wait ... my family's situation is still pending. But they will still be with me one way or another - I'll make them feel a part of it."

The ACT Brumbies' "fro bros", Speight and Joseph Tomane, will make their comebacks from hamstring injuries to play for Canberra against Queensland Country on Saturday.

The wing duo believe they can transfer their try-scoring partnership to Test level and want to show Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie they're primed for a call-up.

Tomane has been plagued by a "Wallabies curse", suffering constant injuries while on the cusp of cementing his Test place.

The NRL convert has played nine Tests in three years and was set to play both Bledisloe Cup matches against the All Blacks last month before he tore his hamstring.

"Higher honours is my goal this year, I want to play for the Wallabies," he said. "But right now I just want to put in a good performance and try to focus on playing well. I might go and see a witch doctor or something [to fix the injury curse]."

Under IRB eligibility rules, Speight had to live in Australia for three years before being available for Wallabies selection. He arrived in Canberra to join the Brumbies at the end of 2010, but a brief playing stint in New Zealand triggered an eligibility debacle and the Fijian flyer was forced to wait four years before getting his chance with the Wallabies.

It's likely McKenzie will inject Speight straight into the Wallabies line-up after his superb form over the past two seasons.

Speight has written to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison with supporting letters from the Brumbies, the ARU and ACT Senator Kate Lundy. It's understood Brumbies board members are keen to throw their support behind Speight's case.

It's likely Tomane and Speight will be fighting for the same Wallabies jersey next week, but Tomane said they wanted to transfer their partnership to international level.

"There's two wing spots, I don't think there's a problem there," Tomane said. "We can play at the Brumbies together, why can't we do that at the Wallabies? I'm hoping to play with him in Wallaby gold, I'm gutted that it's taken him so long to be eligible for Australia."


Saturday: Canberra Vikings v Queensland Country at Viking Park, 2.30pm. Tickets available at the gate.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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