Patience paying off for Frisby

Super Rugby
by AAP

Nick Frisby was flat out just getting a game in his favoured position last year - now he's being talked of as a Wallabies contender, if a few things fall his way.

Frisby will earn his 50th Super Rugby cap when the Reds face the Crusaders on Friday night in Christchurch.

It's been a long time coming for the 23-year-old, who has spent most of his career to date in Will Genia's shadow, waiting patiently for his chances to play across five seasons at Ballymore.

When they've come, they've been rare, and usually anywhere but the base of the scrum.

Frisby started out as a winger, played some fullback, and was even thrown into the No.10 jersey last year as the Reds scrapped to find a replacement for the injured Quade Cooper.

But now as the senior member of Queensland's halves combination, alongside fresh-faced Jake McIntyre, Frisby's patience is starting to finally pay off.

Finally selected consistently at No.9, his form has risen steadily, combining sharp breaks with improved kicking accuracy and sound option-taking.

"I was always a halfback. It was just there was no opportunity to play there," Frisby said.

"It's tough when you sit on the bench, three or four years behind someone, not getting much of a go.

"You do a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure you're still developing.

"I always knew I was able to play at this level. It's just nice to have the opportunity to show that to everyone now."

An even bigger opportunity beckons later this year - although, once again, it could be Genia blocking his path.

Now based in France, Genia is the only European player Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is expected to call upon for June's three Tests against Eddie Jones' England in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Genia's World Cup deputy, Nick Phipps, probably remains the next option after strong efforts for the NSW Waratahs.

But after that the halfback pecking order is wide open.

The Western Force and the ACT Brumbies both have foreign No.9s, while Frisby is one of three uncapped halfbacks to have impressed this season, along with Melbourne Rebels pair Nic Stirzaker and Ben Meehan.

Whatever happens, Frisby says it feels good to at least be in the discussion.

"It's nice to be thrown in the mix and mentioned in that sort of conversation," he said.

"But it's not really something I've thought about at all during the year and I'm not thinking about it at the moment.

My focus has been on securing the Reds starting spot and that will continue to be my focus for the rest of the year."