Rodda ripping in, pushing for Test debut

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Izack Rodda is an unflappable type and should Michael Cheika call on him to make his Test debut, he will simply take the nod in his stride.

The 20-year-old stamped himself as a star of the future with a breakout 2017 for the Reds.

It's the abrasive frame and ability to repeatedly crash over the gain line that catches the eye but his lineout skills, for a player of his age, are the intricate layer to his game which make him the full package.

His form was of such a consistently high standard that it was of some surprise that he was left out of the June squad but now, he is ready to take the All Blacks head on, should Cheika hand him a chance next Saturday.

"It's been unreal so far, it's been great to get in here with the guys and get into some more footy based content," Rodda said of his first Wallabies camp.

"I have loved coming in and getting to learn off everyone.


"They're the best in the country so it's been a real learning experience for me."

The starting lock spots will be Adam Coleman and Rory Arnold's to lose and Rodda is soaking up as much experience from that pair as he can, while fighting for a spot on the bench.

"I'm taking in as much information and as much help as I can," he said.

"They're both really good, really solid players and it's been great to see how they train, particularly around contact."

Rodda said he had sought out Coleman, in particular, for advice.Adam Coleman is taking Rodda under his wing. Photo: ARU Media"I've had a bit of a chat to him, just around my development," he said.

"There are a few things that I need to sharpen up and he is helping me get there."

As for how he plans to achieve his childhood dream, Rodda said he will push for selection the only way he knows how.

"It's a really tough situation where everyone is fighting for a spot," he said.

"Whoever is training the best and performing the best at training will be selected.

"My personal goal is to just rip in at training next week so I can earn a spot.

"It's been my dream since I started playing rugby but obviously I have to work hard to earn it first."

Australia takes on New Zealand on August 19 in Sydney, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.

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