Nic White, James Slipper facing contract wait before Rugby World Cup

Halfback Nic White could be one of two Brumbies stars to leave Canberra at season's end.

Halfback Nic White could be one of two Brumbies stars to leave Canberra at season's end. Photo: AAP

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says Rugby Australia may need to come to the table and help re-sign some veteran Wallabies star as fears mount Nic White and James Slipper could leave Super Rugby Pacific.

Halfback White, 32, and prop Slipper, 33, boast 186 Wallabies caps between them and each signed one-year contract extensions with the governing body last year to figure in World Cup plans.

But neither have been among a sea of RA re-signings in recent times with reports on Wednesday suggesting the Brumbies might not be able to meet White’s financial demands on a new deal should head office not top up his deal.

That would leave him searching for a new franchise after the World Cup, White having fielded big offers from Japanese rugby before he penned his last extension.

Larkham said it was up to RA and the players to handle their contracts.

“There’s a couple of guys there that have contract negotiations ongoing with Rugby Australia and whilst we’re part of it, it’s really up to Rugby Australia and the individual,” he said.

“We’ve certainly got a list of players that we’ve wanted to get signed for a while now, going back pretty much six months.

“We’ve been going through our list making sure we’re getting the guys we want and there’s obviously a couple of guys who still have to sign.

“We’re doing everything we can to try and help them sign on the dotted line.”

White is one of just two halfbacks in Eddie Jones’ most recent Wallabies training squad, joined by Brumbies teammate Ryan Lonergan.

RA has chipped in for new contracts to Queensland’s Tate McDermott (24) and NSW’s Jake Gordon (29), perhaps showing White’s slide down the pecking order of future planning.

Both White and Slipper will be in the line-up when they travel to face the Hurricanes on Friday night, but Wallabies teammates Pete Samu and Len Ikitau won’t play after recent injuries.

“They’re good to go this weekend, but they weren’t good to train on Monday fully so we made the decision that it’s better for those guys to get a two-week break, refresh their bodies, refresh their mind and be ready for next week,” Larkham said.


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