It was good to see Julian Huxley return to playing for the ACT Brumbies last night in their match against the Waikato Chiefs. Huxley, 30, is a very attractive player who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in March 2008 and has been through all of the surgical and other rigours that inevitably follow.
While awaiting medical clearance from the Australian Rugby Union to resume playing, Huxley has been the Brumbies’ kicking coach and has been training regularly with the senior squad in the gym and in the field. The talk was, however, that it would be some time before he returned to match appearances.
That all changed when he was selected for the reserves bench for last night’s game, which meant that he had a legitimate expectation of being called upon for the last 15-20 minutes of the game. That all changed again when winger Francis Fainifo sustained a leg injury 10 minutes into the match. Full back Adam Ashley-Cooper was moved to his slot, and Huxley came on to play a full 70 minutes as full back against the determined onslaught of the Chiefs. He gave it everything he had, to such effect that one of the TV commentators remarked that he was a candidate for man of the match.
Good to see him back.