Long known for its quality wines, the Hunter Valley has produced a different kind of vintage recently with talented playmakers exporting their freakish abilities to the rugby-crazy Australian public. First it was rugby league magician Andrew Johns, then Wallabies playmaker Luke Burgess. But more recently Nic White has taken the mantle of the Hunter’s most dynamic rugby success after a breakout season in the Brumbies No 9 jersey. A boisterous scrumhalf, White has quickly developed into a key ingredient the Brumbies could not do without. Thrown in the deep end with three different fly-halves rotating through the starting side in 2012, White stuck to his processes and produced consistent, world class rugby. Two caps in 2011 against the Reds and Rebels gave White a hunger for more in 2012, and with the old heads of Josh Valentine and Pat Phibbs moving to Europe during the off-season it was up to him to take his chances. In many cases, White displayed maturity and ability far beyond his 17 caps. His booming kicks got the Brumbies out of their own danger zone on countless occasions while his speed to the ball and subsequent clearance is comparable to the fastest in the competition. It surprised few to see his name among the Brumbies chosen to join the Wallabies for their June Tests against Scotland and Wales, and while he wasn’t used from the bench in any of the three Tests he was selected for there is little doubt his chance in Wallaby gold is not far away. White re-signed for another year with the Brumbies in 2012 allowing the combinations formed at the base of the scrum to develop further in the coming 12 months.
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