'Mean' Speight a preseason standout

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Super Rugby fans should look out for a leaner, meaner Henry Speight this Super Rugby season.

Ex-Wallaby Andrew Walker has linked up with the Brumbies as a Tens wildcard and when asked by RUGBY.com.au which Brumbies player had caught his eye, he was quick to nominate the winger.

“There’s one bloke who’s really looking fit and mean and that’s Speighty,” he said.

“He’s looking pretty quick at the moment.”

Henry Speight is fit and ready to go. Photo: Getty ImagesSpeight has battled with injury in recent seasons and a knee problem curtailed his 2016, while he juggled Sevens and Super Rugby commitments, but Walker said there was none of that this time around.

“He’s had his troubles on fitness but I think he’s looking very healthy this time around and hopefully [he'll have] no injuries and he’ll go well,” he said.

Speight is one of the few older heads in the Brumbies squad or 2017 and Walker said you could see his maturity growing with that responsibility .

“He’s one of the oldest Brumbies now, with new players coming on board it’s a whole new concept, isn’t it, starting from scratch again.  - Andrew Walker

“But the boys are up to that challenge and they’ve got a couple of older blokes like Benny Alexander and 'Speighty' and a few others and hopefully they can just gel together.

“Down in Canberra, they should gel together because they’re so close.”

Andrew Walker is back in action for the Brumbies. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stu WalmsleyWalker said he would be happy to play second fiddle to the current players.

He couldn’t resist giving coach and fellow wildcard Stephen Larkham a wrap ahead of the tournament, though.

“He’s looking good – he’ll be playing the whole three games,” he joked.

Brisbane-based Walker is a big advocate of the Tens format, which has been played out in other countries in recent years, and endorsed the Suncorp Stadium venue for this Australian tournament.

The Brumbies take on the Bulls and the Highlanders in their pool at the Tens, kicking off on Saturday.