Samu Kerevi has stopped second-guessing himself, on the way to a second straight Test start, halfback Will Genia says.
Kerevi has battled with form and injuries in the past year, and admitted after an impressive game against Japan that he had been putting too much pressure on himself in a tough season.
The 23-year-old credited Genia with helping him shirk that mental anguish, speaking after his two-try outing in Yokohama.
Genia said he had only told Kerevi to trust himself, some pearls of wisdom that clearly paid off.
“I room with Samu all the time, so he got stuck in a cycle where he kept questioning everything, saying, 'Should I do this, should I do that? Should I go up, sit back, all that sort of stuff,” he said.
“I just told him, I said, 'If you've done the work, you don't question yourself, just get out on the field and back yourself to make a decision.
“Just think simple thoughts leading into the game and when you get out there, back those decisions and the guys will react off you as well.
“And he did that, he went out there, backed himself to carry hard, played to his strengths in defence, take space, because obviously we want to play with line speed and he played very well.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Kerevi had impressed him with his mental strength, as he worked his way back into a starting job.
“We’ve got a very young leadership team and I think that he came on the scene last year and did very well and a lot of heat on him to do that gain - for the Reds and through into our season,” he said.
“I think it didn’t start too great for him I’ll be honest but he’s fought really hard.”
A neck injury for Karmichael Hunt opened the door for Kerevi to start against Japan, and his form made him impossible to drop even with the return of Hunt.
“It shows the resilience he has as a footballer and a person and that’s the type of player we want in our team.
“He played well last week and he earned himself a chance to play this week and he looks in good shape, I’m sure he’s going to take it.”
Australia takes on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday night, kicking off at 5:15pm local, Sunday 4:15am AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports and SBS.