DEPARTING Queensland back Julian Huxley will get an immediate chance to push his claims as a long-term replacement for Stephen Larkham when he links with the Brumbies.
Huxley will be trialled at five-eighth as well as full back when the inaugural Australian Provincial Competition kicks off in September.
Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher regards the Queensland utility as a potential starter in both positions as well as inside centre, which has been left open by the loss of Matt Giteau to Western Force.
Huxley signed a two-year contract to return to the Brumbies after accepting he would have better Super 14 opportunities than at Queensland, where coach Eddie Jones viewed him solely as a full back.
He will "celebrate" his move with a trip to Europe after being selected in a new-look Australians sevens squad for back-to-back tournaments in Paris and London.
While the 2003 Reds player of the year is currently contracted to Queensland, the Brumbies expect to have him on board shortly after he returns from the two-week tour next month.
Fisher indicated that Larkham would have to be rested from some Super 14 games to reduce a heavy 2007 workload, and he indicated that Huxley was a likely replacement - especially after having time at five-eighth during the APC.
"He's a starting player of quality, and demonstrated that in the last two years, and (he) can play a number of positions," Fisher said.
"We'll play him in 10 and 15 for that (APC) tournament because there's other guys we want to give some game time to and have a chance to experiment.
"We see he has the capacity to start him at 15, start at 12 and start at 10.
"I think in a World Cup year that we would be required to rest some of our players in a couple of games so he's the sort of guy who can shift into a different position without affecting his game."
The Brumbies have tabled contract offers with eight out-of-contract players, leaving only three holes to fill if they are signed.
Good to see Huxley back in the ACT. We were looking really slim in the 5/8 position once Larkham got injuried and Giteau left.