MELBOURNE (Reuters) - ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar is relishing the prospect of having a “coach on the field” after naming Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White in his matchday squad for the Super Rugby AU clash against the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday.
The 30-year-old White will come off the bench for his first Brumbies match in five years, having spent time in France and England.
He was not expected to play for the Brumbies this year but with COVID-19 disrupting the season, he has a chance to help the Brumbies drive toward the playoffs and impress new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.
McKellar said he was glad White had “landed in (their) laps” as he revealed sweeping changes to the Brumbies side that lost 30-12 to the Melbourne Rebels.
“He’s a world class nine and he’s been here the best part of a month now and he’ll get an opportunity off the bench,” McKellar said in a video call.
“He demands incredibly high standards of himself and others around him. And to be honest he’s like having another coach on the field.
“So that’s an incredible benefit for us. I can already see our young nines and tens, our team in general, learning from his experiences and his knowledge.”
McKellar made nine changes to his starting side and dropped seven players including Wallabies Tevita Kuridrani and Folau Faingaa for the match at Canberra Stadium.
He said none of the changes were punitive but players needed a rest as the pace-setting Brumbies look to hold top spot in the domestic competition three rounds before the playoffs.
Ryan Lonergan will start in the number nine shirt ahead of White with Junior Wallabies team mate Bayley Kuenzle at flyhalf.
“I’ve got full confidence in the 23 that I’ve selected to do the job,” McKellar said.
“The last thing we want to do is get to the end of the season and we get a few injuries.”
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Christopher Cushing
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