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.
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.''