Canberra - Brumbies coach Jake White is prepared to show blind
faith in his off-contract players and hopes some will re-sign with the
Super Rugby franchise in the coming months.
White declared he was keen to engage in contract negotiations despite being yet to see his players in a regular season match.
However, the World Cup-winning mentor admits he faces a
challenge getting the players to commit to the deals early if ARU
top-ups are not included in the Brumbies' offers.
The Brumbies need to fit all of their players under a
salary cap and rely on the ARU to beef up the deals of the top players
to keep them in Australia.
There are nine Brumbies whose contracts expire at the end of the year.
Christian Lealiifano has already been offered a three-year deal and White will look to secure more players as soon as he can.
"You need superstars and the high-paid players, but
you've got to keep guys in your system so you don't have to restart the
cycle every year," White said.
"It's crazy to just let players go if they know your
systems, they buy into what you're doing and they can develop when
they're in your system.
"You have to find a balance and convince guys their rugby will improve here in Canberra.
"I know if I keep this same group for four years we will be better, I'd like to keep these boys in the system."
Players in Australia have traditionally signed two-year
contracts with their franchises and the ARU to ensure they have maximum
But White is keen to forge a new path and table
longer-term deals if it doesn't affect his players' earning abilities.
Brumbies halfback Nic White played just two games in his debut Super
Rugby campaign last year.
He is one of just two specialist No 9s on Jake White's roster.
The former Australian under-20s representative is yet to
begin new contract negotiations, but keen to have his future sorted
"Hopefully I can put together some good footy and let the contract stuff sort itself out," Nic White said.
"My first focus is locking down the No. 9 jersey and I
don't want to think about my future too much even though it's in the
back of my mind.
"If I can get a chance to sign a couple of more years then I'd definitely be keen on doing that."