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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, pictured.

"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 quite nice he gets to play with Ian as well" ... Brumbies coach Jake White.

"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.''

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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