Huxley happy to play No.15 for Brumbies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Huxley happy to play No.15 for Brumbies

By Peter Veness 05/02/2008 04:04:41 PM Comments (0)

Julian Huxley is more than happy to revert to fullback if exciting youngster Christian Lealiifano shows he's ready to take over Steve Larkham's playmaker role for the Brumbies.

Coach Laurie Fisher plans to give Huxley and Lealiifano half a game each at five eighth in the final trial match against the Hurricanes in New Zealand on Thursday.

He must then decide who goes up against champion All Blacks No.10 Dan Carter when the Brumbies face the powerful Crusaders in their Super 14 season opener in Christchurch on Friday week.

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher on Tuesday named eight Wallabies in a 26-man squad for the Hurricanes match with captain George Smith, Stephen Hoiles, Julian Huxley, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Mark Gerrard all set to take the field for the first time since last year's World Cup.

Fisher said Lealiifano impressed against the Waratahs but admitted he has still to be fully tested in the heat of professional rugby and he's unsure who will take the five eighth role so long filled by Wallabies great Larkham.

"Hux (Huxley) will play half a game and Christian will play half a game," Fisher said.

Huxley will also spend some time at fullback, his preferred position.

"I try to keep as open a mind as possible and give the maximum opportunity to perform," Fisher said.

"They're all quality footballers so it's important that they feel as though they've been given maximum opportunity to press for starting positions, I think that we need to make sure that their mind is settled."

Huxley said he was happy to mind the flyhalf role while Lealiifano matured but was most content at fullback.

"If those (young) guys are ready to step up right now then hopefully I can stick back at fullback.

"The trial form last week was really good by Christian Lealiifano and he looks really good," Huxley said.

The Brumbies will stay in New Zealand after Friday night's trial to focus on the opening round clash against the Crusaders.

Brumbies squad:

Forwards - Nic Henderson, Guy Shepherdson, Salesi Ma'afu, John Ulugia, Huia Edmonds, Saia Faingaa, Peter Kimlin, Alister Campbell, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Richard Stanford, Mitch Chapman, Jone Tawake, George Smith, Stephen Hoiles.

Backs - Patrick Phibbs, Josh Holmes, Christian Lealiifano, Julian Huxley, Francis Fainifo, Peter Playford, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Anthony Faingaa, Gene Fairbanks, Tyrone Smith, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Mark Gerrard.

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