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Brumbies relieved Speight's eligibility is finalised

Brumbies winger Henry Speight can play for Australia in September

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Article Published: Monday 27 January 2014|

Winger Henry Speight has been given a date that he will become eligible to play for the Wallabies and the Brumbies say that they are relieved that he can now focus on the Super Rugby season.

Fiji-born has been in limbo since last year waiting to find out when he will be eligible to play for the Wallabies as he arrived in Canberra at the end of 2010.

However a three month stint with Waikato in New Zealand's National Provincial Championship at the end of the 2011 Super Rugby season has delayed his eligibility by almost a year.

The IRB formed a three-man panel to decide on his eligibility and they have now ruled that Speight can play for Australia from September the 11th.

That means that Speight can play against Argentina on September the 13th and he can now focus on the Super Rugby season and making sure the national coaches want him in the team.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham says that the IRB's decision is final and that everyone can now "move forward".

"We're just happy that he's been found eligible to play," he told the Canberra Times.

"If he'd been cleared for the June window .... he would've potentially played an extra six games (for the Wallabies) this year.

"But he still gets (the chance) to play nine Test matches and we're just happy he's allowed to play Test matches this year.

"We would've liked it to have been last year, but he's just relieved that we finally get a game now."

Larkham says the decision allows Speight to focus on the Brumbies' first game against the Queensland Reds on February the 22nd .

Speight has scored 16 tries over the last two seasons of Super Rugby and if he can achieve as much on the international stage he will be a real assett for the Wallabies.

The winger is not only a top performer in scoring tries as his tackling and work at the breakdown are also attributes that will make him invaluable to Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

"He's one of the top try scorers for an Australian player in Super Rugby over the past couple of years and defensively he just reads the game so well," Larkham said.

"He makes some really good tackles in the wider channels and certainly steals his fair share of ball at the breakdown, too."

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