White one step closer to Aussie return

Tue, 16/06/2020, 06:54 am
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Nic White is set to return to Australia soon. Photo: Getty Images

Nic White's permanent return to Australia is one step closer after the halfback's England stint officially wrapped this week.

White has been with the Chiefs for three seasons but last year signed a deal to return to Australia through to 2022.

An Australian rugby contract with no confirmed destination allowed him to return to the Test arena in 2019 and play in the Rugby World Cup, before he declared his plans to return to the Brumbies.

The Premiership Rugby season was suspended earlier this year but teams returned to non-contact training last week.

With the season pushed back until August and White moving on, he confirmed on Monday that his time at the Chiefs was up.

"Just as we got back into it unfortunately was my last week at the club," he wrote on Monday.

"I know these words won’t do me justice in trying to describe how truly thankful I am to @officialexeterchiefs but here goes.

"The last 3 years has been nothing short of amazing. It’s been a special time for not only me but my family as well. We can’t thank the club, coaches, players, supporters and people of Exeter enough for the love we have felt here. I am proud to be an Exeter Chief and it’s something I will always cherish. While I am disappointed I can’t finish the way I wanted, I am confident the boys will finish what we started."

Normally, White's return would coincide with the beginning of the Test season, with a Super Rugby return not until the following year but with the Super Rugby AU competition kicking off in July, the timetable has changed.

It is unclear whether White would join the Brumbies immediately or work his way back into the international fold when Test rugby resumes and join the Brumbies fully in 2021.

The 30-year-old has remained in England during the coronavirus lockdown and would need to quarantine for two weeks when he returns to Australia, leaving him up against it to play for the Brumbies immediately in Super Rugby AU.

White posted on his Instagram on Monday, expressing his gratitude to the Chiefs for the opportunity to play with them.

The Brumbies have no shortage of halfbacks in their squad for the upcoming Super Rugby AU season, with or without White.

Joe Powell, Ryan Lonergan and Issak Fines are all jostling for the no. 9 jersey ahead of the season resumption.

Powell is off contract at the end of this year and has been linked with a possible move to Major League Rugby in the USA.

Lonergan and Powell have both had starts this season before the coronavirus pandemic ended the Super Rugby season early.

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