Competition gives Wallabies extra motivation

by Staff Writer

Wallabies back Matt Toomua says the carrot of a possible starting spot is driving him each week.

Toomua has played in every game through the World Cup, coming off the bench against Fiji and England and starting at inside centre against Uruguay.

The 26-year-old said the whole squad mentality that head coach Michael Cheika has instilled in the side gave him extra motivation at training.

“It’s huge,” he said.

“You can’t underestimate the squad, whether it be the vibe around training and helping other guys out or if we actually get a genuine go,” he said.

“I think I can probably speak for that because I’m probably one of those guys who are on the fringes and working hard to get in there.

“It genuinely has been the whole mentality of the 31 so I think you’ll see a few guys get a chance this weekend and show it was a good way to approach the tournament.”

“We do have quite a good insurance policy with a few guys who have played for the 80 minutes a week ago. So, hopefully guys are still in form and still match fit.”

Toomua said the Wallabies would be wary of Wales’ back line, which has stood up despite a series of injuries to their top flight.

Australia will have to contend with their own injuries among their outside backs on Saturday, with Rob Horne (shoulder) and Israel Folau (ankle) unlikely to play.

“We’ve had a few injuries and so have they so I think they’ll look to their leaders and obviously (guys like) Jamie Roberts, George North,” he said.

“(That’s) headed up by Biggar with his kicking so we know we have to be pretty strong in terms of discipline because pretty much anywhere in your half he’s going to put it straight through the poles.”

One of the players who could be vying for a starting spot against Wales is winger Drew Mitchell, who scored a double against Uruguay two Sundays ago.

Mitchell said he would love to be included in the side to face Wales at Twickenham, a ground where he has had some recent success with French side, Toulon.

"Rob’s scans were more positive than everyone was thinking before going into it,” he said.

“But if he’s not right for this weekend obviously someone needs to go in there and of course I’d like to be that guy.

“I had a go in the game against Uruguay and I’d love the opportunity but Kurtley Beale also went really well when he came on, in somewhat of an unfamiliar role really.

“If anything, he added something to the game with his spark and injection from the backs.

“I think we’ve got some great options with Joey Tomane and Henry Speight as well.

“The coaches have a fair bit of choice there.”

The Wallabies team to face Wales will be named on Thursday.

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