Clyde Rathbone will trial for the Brumbies
Jake White will be watching closely as former Wallabies winger, Clyde Rathbone, will trial for the Brumbies as outside centre for the coming season.
Rathbone, who is making a comeback after retiring in 2009 and recovering from depression, has played all of his Super Rugby games and Tests on the wing, but he played outside centre as a junior in South Africa.
He captained the White-coached South Africa team to victory in the 2002 under-21 World Cup as an outside centre.
One of the hardest ball-runners in world rugby at his peak, Rathbone could play a similar explosive role at outside centre to the one that Stirling Mortlock played for the Brumbies.
While Rathbone will play on the wing in the trial against Western Force in Darwin on Friday night, he will run at outside centre against an ACT XV in Canberra the following week, competing with Andrew Smith.
“I would consider him at 13,” White said. “He has experience there and he talks a lot. He is a good communicator.
“It’s about picking the best backline.”
Playing Rathbone at outside centre would enable White to keep the back three of wingers Joe Tomane and Henry Speight and fullback Jesse Mogg intact.
Tomane played for Australia last year before sustaining an ankle injury, while Speight has the potential to become a Test player.
With Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano set to play in the inside backs, Rathbone would provide the Brumbies with an extra strike player at outside centre.
by Buford Balony