Henry Speight has quickly developed into one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most dangerous outside backs. His eight tries in 2012 made him the highest try-scorer in not only the Brumbies ranks, but throughout all provinces in the Australian Conference. Lightning-quick off the mark, Speight’s deadly right-to-left double step is the envy of all outside backs. His ability to change direction at pace, stepping off either foot has handed the Brumbies five-pointers in some of the most unlikely circumstances. With backs against the wall, Speight’s tries against the Blues and Waratahs in 2012 clearly demonstrated his ability to find space in traffic, with both five-pointers handing the Brumbies breathing space at key points. A Fijian national, Speight spent the 2011 and 2012 season as the Brumbies foreign development player, but advances in his application for permanent residency to Australia have seen his status change to a domestic based player and he will be eligible for the Wallabies at the conclusion of 2013. Speight’s first taste of pro-rugby came in his final year of school, when representing the Hamilton Boys High School he was picked for Waikato making his debut against the Bay of Plenty. Not eligible for the New Zealand Schoolboys, Speight represented his native Fiji in the same year at the Junior World Cup in Belfast. As part of the Australian side in Belfast, future Brumbies and Wallabies Dan Palmer and Pat McCabe went face to face with Speight. And while the Aussies came away with the win, Speight held the last laugh with a breathtaking chip-and-chase try, finished off with one of his signature left foot steps around the fullback. Now in his third year of Super Rugby, Speight will be looking to impose himself further in Brumbies games during 2013 with the mantle of the competition’s top try-scorer well within his reach.
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