Back in the Australia starting XV, Brumbies winger Joe Tomane paid tribute to his former boss Jake White ahead of facing the Springboks.
White was spotted talking to some of his former troops at the Wallabies hotel on Thursday ahead of the weekend’s Test match.
Tomane was one of a number of Brumbies to win Test caps during or following White’s stint with the 2013 Super Rugby finalists, with the winger crediting White for playing a major role in his development.
“It was really good to see him. He was pretty much the mastermind along with Stephen Larkham in bringing me back to rugby, and moulded me into the person I am today,” said Tomane.
“Rugby was my first love when I was a kid and I grew up playing it, but I had an amazing opportunity to go and play League. Rugby was always on my mind, you never forget your first love.”
The 24-year-old has fully recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place back on the left wing to face South Africa and win his tenth cap.
It’s an opportunity that Tomane has been biding his time for, eager to make an impression when considering the number of wing options available to head coach Ewen McKenzie.
“I’ve just been thinking about when I could get my chance and now’s the time to make the most of it,” added Tomane.
“The hamstring’s fine. I’ve been doing the conditioning work here with the Wallabies and the Brumbies have been putting me through the paces to make sure I get ready. I’m feeling good.
“It was only a grade one hamstring injury and I’ve missed a month. I’ve had a lot of time to get my mind right and now I can’t wait.
“The competition we have for the wing spots with Australia is amazing. All the other guys are keeping me on my toes.
“You have guys like Rob Horne who helped us get the win scoring that try in Perth. The Reds have signed James O’Connor as well, so now’s my chance to cement my spot.”