THE Brumbies are optimistic starting scrumhalf Nic White will be fit for the start of the next Super Rugby season after he underwent a shoulder reconstruction yesterday.
But the club is privately fuming he was left out of Australia's Rugby Championship squad, having delayed his surgery after being advised he was in the plans of Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
The Herald has learnt the Brumbies held off White's procedure after being given a strong indication he would be chosen for the four-team tournament. However, White was overlooked for the opening two clashes against New Zealand, and also missed out on the squad for the September 8 match against South Africa in Perth named yesterday.
It is believed White would have undergone shoulder surgery six weeks ago, alongside Brumbies teammates Sam Carter and Scott Fardy, had the club known he wouldn't be selected.
White's Wallabies snubbing in favour of Melbourne Rebels playmaker Nick Phipps has raised eyebrows. The Rebels won just four games all season, while the revitalised Brumbies missed out on their first finals series since 2004 by a single point.
White went under the knife yesterday in order to give him enough time to be ready for the Brumbies 2013 campaign.
Uncapped wingers Nick Cummins and Dom Shipperley, meanwhile, are in line to battle for a Wallabies debut after being named in a 31-man squad for the clash against South Africa. The training group will assemble in Perth tomorrow.
Wallabies squad: A Ashley-Cooper, K Beale, D Ioane, DShipperley, N Cummins, R Horne, B Tapuai, A Faingaa, M Harris, P McCabe, B Barnes, Q Cooper, N Phipps, W Genia (c), S Higginbotham, R Samo, M Hooper, L Gill, D Dennis, R Simmons, N Sharpe, K Douglas, C Neville, Timani, B Alexander, P Ryan, J Slipper, B Robinson, S Faingaa, S Moore, T Polota Nau