White not wondering what could have been
Left out ... Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White will not return to the Wallabies squad despite Will Genia's injury. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Nic White has no regrets about having shoulder surgery, even though Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia's knee injury might have opened the door for him to make his international debut.
He said he wouldn't want to make his Wallabies debut only operating at ''70 per cent'' and put his international career in jeopardy. And the ACT Brumbies No.9 thinks Genia's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury could force Quade Cooper to return to his enigmatic best.
White injured his shoulder in Maitland a year ago, but battled on for the entire Super Rugby season - a season where his speed out of the ruck played a large part in the Brumbies' rise up the ladder. He was due to have surgery when the Brumbies' season ended, but Wallabies coach Robbie Deans wanted him available for the Bledisloe Cup.
When Deans then strangely overlooked him in favour of Melbourne Rebels scrumhalf Nick Phipps, the 22-year-old had his right shoulder reconstructed with the goal of being fit for round one of the 2013 Super Rugby season.
White was Genia's understudy for the Wallabies' series against Wales in June, but never left the bench.
With Genia out for at least six months, it would have opened the way for White and Phipps to battle it out for the No.9 jersey.
But White has no regrets about having surgery and missing a chance of playing Argentina in the Rugby Championship on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
''Robbie obviously knew about [my shoulder problem] and that played a role in not picking me … I know I needed to have it done,'' White told The Canberra Times yesterday.
''Knowing Will's injured now I wouldn't want to be in a position where I'd only be playing at 70 per cent.
''I'd just be a liability out there. I'm glad I'm getting it done and hopefully I have a good season next year and get the chance to hopefully get a cap.
''I want to be fully fit and I want it to be a case of I want to stick around, if I do get that cap, I want to be in a position where I'm not a one-hit wonder.''
Genia was inspirational against Wales and his injury leaves a massive hole for Deans to fill.
White thinks it will be up to others around Phipps to shoulder more of the load - players like Cooper and centre Berrick Barnes.
That added responsibility could be exactly what Cooper needs to bring out his best, something that's been missing since his return from a knee injury of his own.
''He's definitely going to have to shoulder more responsibility in that No.10 jersey and that might be good for him,'' White said.
White has been recovering from surgery at his parents home in Maitland, before returning to Canberra last night.
He'll resume restricted training next week.