‘Rapidly overtaking me!’ Wallaby’s classy tribute to the man who replaced him


Nic White admits facing off against the ACT Brumbies for the first time will be emotional, but says he can’t let the occasion distract him from getting the job done for his new club.

The Western Force recruit won’t enter GIO Stadium for Saturday’s Super Rugby Pacific encounter looking for gratitude from Brumbies fans, but rather for a breakthrough win for his struggling side.

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

White, who was squeezed out of the Brumbies’ future plans after more than 100 games for the club, saw plenty of similarities between his old and new home.

“There’s many similarities around what’s happening … people coming from a lot of different backgrounds, from different states, feeling like it’s their last chance (after) being sent packing from other places,” he said.

“We’re building at the moment, we’re in a different place to where the Brumbies are, but in terms of culture and what’s happening over there too, there’s a really good feel around what’s happening.

“There’s certainly no panic stations around what we’re doing, it’s just about doing it better and doing it for longer periods of time, there’s been some really good glimpses both with the ball in attack and in defence.”

White and his replacement No.9 at the Brumbies Ryan Lonergan showed no signs of animosity at a press conference on Friday morning, with the Force halfback paying tribute to his adversary’s growth in their time playing together.

. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

“He was rapidly overtaking me anyway,” White said with a laugh.

“I don’t think ‘Lonners’ has probably got the plaudits he deserves over the last couple of years.

“He’ll continue to grow and he’s just needed time in the saddle, and obviously I was taking a little bit of that off him while being here … part of the decision I made (to leave) was to let a guy like that flourish.”

????️ ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????? is looking forward to come up against former team mate ???????????? ???????????????????? tomorrow.

Full Press Conference: https://t.co/btobAfBvCX#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/OH0uR6puEx

— ACT Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) March 8, 2024

Ahead of what will be the first time the two halfbacks have faced off, Lonergan credited plenty of his progression as a player to his former mentor.

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“His ability and then how he just drives the standards of others, he’s brilliant at that,” he said.

“I’ve heard he’s been doing all that over there at the Force as well, that’s what every great No.9 has got to do.

“I took a lot away from what he does in and around the group.

“I’ve been building towards (starting) for a fair while now and I feel pretty comfortable … (but) I’ve got to keep performing and keep driving the boys.”

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