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Brumbies rookies ready for Hurricanes

Date

Chris Dutton

"The thing I like about him is he's not scared to take it to the line" ... Brumbies coach Jake White on Zack Holmes, ...

"The thing I like about him is he's not scared to take it to the line" ... Brumbies coach Jake White on Zack Holmes, pictured. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

BRUMBIES coach Jake White has backed his rookie halves combination to beat the Hurricanes in New Zealand for the first time in almost a decade.

First-year Brumbies Zack Holmes and Ian Prior will guide their team around the field when they take on the Hurricanes tomorrow night.

It is the fourth five-eighth-halfback combination the Brumbies have used this season.

"The logical thing is a guy like Zack, who has run a lot more with Ian Prior, pictured, in the other group and it's ...

"The logical thing is a guy like Zack, who has run a lot more with Ian Prior, pictured, in the other group and it's quite nice he gets to play with Ian as well" ... Brumbies coach Jake White. Photo: Getty Images

Holmes will call the shots in the No.10 jersey as well as taking on the kicking duties. Prior will get his chance to step up with Nic White rotated to the bench.

It will be the duo's biggest challenge, but while White, Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua spent time forming combinations together, Holmes and Prior formed a partnership on the opposite side at training.

Holmes has played just 40 minutes of rugby from the bench in his debut season, but White said the 21-year-old was the ''logical'' choice to replace Lealiifano.

''We don't have to change anything, he understands [the job] and has been a part of the team [at five-eighth] since we trained at Narrabeen [last year],'' White said.

''The logical thing is a guy like Zack, who has run a lot more with Ian Prior in the other group and it's quite nice he gets to play with Ian as well.

''The thing I like about him is he's not scared to take it to the line … it's a difficult one for him because he has a lot of key roles but that's part of the position he plays and I'm sure he will be good enough to take it.''

The Brumbies sit at the top of the Australian conference and can maintain their buffer if they beat the Hurricanes. The club has not won three games in a row since the start of the 2010 campaign and has struggled to win in Wellington since 2003.

Instead of shying away from past statistics, White is using the record to inspire his young team. They have already defied the odds this year when they became the most successful Brumbies side to tour South Africa in a decade.

Holmes gets his chance to shine after Lealiifano broke his ankle two weeks ago. He started the season on the bench, but had to wait until the third game of the year before he finally got on the field.

Holmes has since dropped off the Brumbies bench with Robbie Coleman returning. But the former Australian Sevens representative's goal-kicking and extended training time at five-eighth helped him win the race to be Lealiifano's replacement.

''It has come a little bit earlier than expected,'' Holmes said. ''I will just play what we've been going through since July last year and I've almost been running the plays for a year now. It's just making sure of when I get there, I'm aware of everything I need to do.

''I've only played 40 minutes of rugby at Super Rugby level but, against the [Durban] Sharks, I felt good there.''

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
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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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
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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
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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
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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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