There were a few bolters in Michael Cheika’s first train-on squad, none more so than Rebels prop Toby Smith.
Just two years ago Smith was apart of the Chiefs’ side that won back-to-back Super Rugby titles, before signing a two-year deal with the Melbourne franchise.
The 26-year old has been a rock in a sturdy Rebels’ scrum in 2015, cementing himself as the premier loosehead prop in Melbourne.
Averaging nearly 70 minutes per game, Smith and prop partner Paul Alo-Emile lifted the Rebels’ scrum to be the best in the Australian conference.
“He hasn’t been involved in any of our (morning after) camps during Super Rugby but I think it’s just his consistency,” Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.
“His scrum has been really good so I think he deserved the chance. We’ll be able to get a bit of work done there around our scrum and lineout so it’s a good opportunity for him to get involved in the squad.”
Boasting a scrum success rate of 92%, the Rebels’ scrum was the third best in Super Rugby, just behind the Hurricanes and Crusaders.
It wasn’t just his set-piece that had Michael Cheika watching closely with Smith also heavily involved in defence racking up 6.5 tackles per game, to have him amongst the game’s top props.
“He did well early and he has stayed at it, he’s a very dynamic player and he’s looking to get involved in the physical contest which I like.”
The train-on squad will meet in Brisbane at the start of next week while the Waratahs and Brumbies continue their Super Rugby finals campaign.