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Brumbies winger Henry Speight included in Wallabies squad

Henry Speight has been in outstanding form for the Brumbies in 2014.

Henry Speight has been in outstanding form for the Brumbies in 2014. Photo: Getty Images

ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight has put his Wallabies dream "on the backburner" to focus on Super Rugby success, determined to continue his scintillating form to earn another crack at winning a championship.

Speight was one of 11 Brumbies included in the Wallabies' 32-man squad for the Rugby Championship, with coach Ewen McKenzie opting to add him to the roster despite the Fijian-born flyer not being available for selection until September 11.

McKenzie is bursting with excitement at the prospect of injecting Speight into the international arena.

But first Speight is channelling all of his energy into the Brumbies' semi-final clash against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday night, refusing to start dreaming of a Wallabies debut as he waits for his drawn-out eligibility saga to be finished in two months.

The 26-year-old is expected to be parachuted into the line-up for the Test against Argentina on September 13 and he's making an undeniable case for a call up with his outstanding Brumbies performances.

"It's a massive honour to be in the squad ... but this weekend there is a job needs to be done and I'm focused on that," Speight said.

"I've shelved [thoughts of Wallabies] and put it in the back of my head. If I circled [September 11] then it was going to be the longest few months, it was good to put it on the backburner.

"It's good to be able to focus on Brumbies and my motivation has been just the team doing well. I'm really enjoying getting the ball out wide and having fun. I owe it all to Matty Toomua and Christian [Lealiifano] for spreading the ball. I owe them a coffee or two."

Speight is the feel-good story of Australian rugby, with the sport yearning for a hero after Nick "The Honey Badger" Cummins quit his ARU contract to move his career to Japan.

Known as the Brumbies' ''bro with the fro'', Speight has spent the past four seasons in Canberra. But the IRB delayed his Australian eligibility because of a brief return to play for Waikato in New Zealand at the end of 2011.

The Department of Immigration is refusing to allow his brother Jerry and sister Davila into Australia to watch him play because the pair have been deemed a risk of becoming asylum seekers.

The Brumbies' win against the Waikato Chiefs last week was the first time any of his siblings had been able to watch him play in Australia, with older brother Sam gaining entry to the country because he's a British national.

Speight's uncle is George Speight, the Fijian coup leader serving life in jail. His late grandfather, Josefa Iloilo, is a former Fiji president.

Family is Speight's motivation for success, dedicating every performance to them. Even his afro has a family link, after he started growing it for 100 nights as part of Fijian tradition to honour the memory of his cousin, Malachi, who lost his battle with cancer in 2013.

Speight will miss the first three Rugby Championship Tests before being available for selection.

"He can play powerfully, he's got speed, he can evade. He's not just confrontational, I like that," McKenzie said.

"But I also like that off the field he's softly spoken but clearly intelligent. He has a lot of allies, a lot of people speak very highly of him. I can see why he can bring out the best in people around him.

"There's a crowd favourite departing in Nick Cummins, but a real interesting guy coming in with Henry Speight ... I didn't know much about him until June and I was very impressed with him."

Speight is working with the Brumbies and the ARU to have his family present at his Test debut.

Davila and Jerry have had two visa applications denied by immigration. Speight has given written evidence that his brother and sister will return to Fiji after a brief visit so that he can show them his new home.

"Everything I do, I do it for my family. They're my motivation," Speight said.

"To be able to do it for them makes it extra special, I'm blessed and lucky to have a great family. The whole Brumbies organisation has been my family for the past four years in Canberra ... I play for my family back home and all Canberrans."

WALLABIES SQUAD (Brumbies in bold): Ben Alexander, Pek Cowan, Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Nathan Charles, James Hanson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sam Carter, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman, Wycliff Palu, Luke Burgess, Nick Phipps, Nic White, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Tevita KuridraniChristian LealiifanoMatt Toomua, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Henry Speight, Israel Folau, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Joe Tomane.


Thursday: The Brumbies are inviting fans to farewell the team from its University of Canberra base at 12.30pm before it leaves for Sydney for its semi final clash against the NSW Waratahs.

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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