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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 Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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