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Housemates avoid war with Wallabies selection

Date

David Polkinghorne

Brumbies players Nic White, Micheal Hooper and Dan Palmer relax after training in their Kingside apartment.

Brumbies players Nic White, Micheal Hooper and Dan Palmer relax after training in their Kingside apartment. Photo: Jay Cronan

Awkward moments and a nerf-gun war were avoided when Nic White, Michael Hooper and Dan Palmer all found out they were in the Wallabies squad on Saturday night.

The trio live together in a Kingston apartment and household harmony could have been destroyed if one of them had missed out on Robbie Deans' 39-man squad.

Luckily that wasn't the case and the trio were among the eight Brumbies Deans picked in his train-on squad.

Brumbies coach Jake White told the team of the selections after the one-point loss to the Queensland Reds, when they sat them down for a team meeting back at Brumbies HQ.

It gave them something to cheer about after a sombre bus ride back from Canberra Stadium.

That narrow loss not only dampened team spirits but it also took some of the gloss off the first-time selections of White, Hooper and Palmer in a Wallabies squad.

White said it still hadn't sunk in, as he continued his battle with Ian Prior for the Brumbies starting scrumhalf role.

But it soon will as everywhere he looks at home there's the constant reminder of a fellow Wallabies squad member.

''We hadn't really thought about it at all before then, we kind of got home and [realised] the whole house had made it, that's pretty cool,'' White said.

''Dan said it'd be awkward if one of us didn't make it, it'd be awkward for that person.

''We've just got a good set of guys. I don't know if we're doing anything special at home, maybe a couple of contact [sessions] up [on the team] because the boys wrestle a bit but that's about it.''

Hooper and White have been living together for a while, but the departure of Ed Stubbs opened up a spare room and Palmer passed an extensive interview process to enter the house.

As a household of men in their early 20s, they all have their roles - White is excitable and energetic; Palmer loves to sleep and make a mess; while Hooper is the middle man.

It's Hooper's first senior squad but the No.7 played for Australia at last year's under-20 world championships where he was named international player of the tournament.

He' been a standout at openside flanker this season and is vying with Reds' Liam Gill to be David Pocock's understudy.

Hooper put the trio's selection down to more than just house harmony - they also have a secret weapon.

''There's been a few jokes around that there's something in the water at our unit … It's a good house to be in at the moment,'' Hooper said.

''We get along well, we have fun in the house and playing together is just an extension of that.''

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