Speight wants to build in first home Bledisloe

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Henry Speight might be one of the few Wallabies who can take a positive out of last year’s Bledisloe Cup series.

He was out of the Test fold when the Wallabies went down in Sydney and Wellington but linked up with the squad, earning his first start in more than a year in that  Auckland Test.

A controversial disallowed Speight try that night might have changed the Wallabies’ fortunes, but that evening is one the Brumbies flyer wants to build on, not lament.

“It was a great game to be a part of,” he said.

“Some said it was a dead rubber game but it was pretty competitive until playing in that second half but it was really good to get through that and looking forward to building on that again this week if selected.

Eden Park is the only place Speight has ever played the All Blacks, first in 2015 and then last year, both as a starting player.

This will be an altogether different kind of team, one with an eye on 2019, a transition Speight says has come out of natural attrition.

“A bit of turnover of players since June but in saying that it's just come through people putting their hands up I guess and putting their foot forward for selection,” he said.

His Wallabies campaign this year has been a stuttering one, a hamstring injury ending his June series, after one of the best Super Rugby starts of his career.

With Sefa Naivalu out injured, Speight looms as the obvious choice to pair up with Dane Haylett-Petty on the wing.

This time around he won’t have ‘The Bus’ to contend with, Julian Savea dropped from the All Blacks squad, and another Bledisloe crack is something he’s looking forward to.

"It's going to be a tough ask but everyone relishes that chance to meet them so it'll be no different and we'll be certainly putting our hands up for selection this week," he said.

The Wallabies take on New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday August 19, kicking off at 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.