Wallabies buoyed by backs reserves

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies have gone from one to three possible inside centre choices in the space of a week, with Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano joining the camp in the past week.

Toomua looks to have overcome a knee injury and attack coach Stephen Larkham said the Brumbies inside centre was available for selection.

“He came into the squad last week and managed to train with us on Thursday, has pulled up fine from that training so he should be good for selection,” he said.

Larkham said he was pleased with the way the backline shaped up in the first Test, with a new structure.

"I thought it was pretty good, I think Samu had a very fine first test I think he carried the ball when he needed to carry the ball and found some pretty good support lines out there,” he said.

“I think Israel (Folau) got his hands on the ball a fair bit of the game which is what you want to see, a guy like Israel getting his hands on the ball and Bernard (Foley) seemed to control the game quite well.

Matt Toomua is back in the Wallabies fold. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley“We had to make an early change in the game with Christian coming on and a little bit of rotation there with Christian playing on the wing in defence and a little bit in attack but I thought it was good.

“I thought we made a number of breaks. We didn’t capitalise on some of those breaks but I guess what was pleasing was our handling and the fact that we made some line breaks.”

England inside back George Ford said it wouldn't matter which way the Aussies went with their centre pairing, with the Wallabies always dangerous in attack.

"I thought they actually looked rally dangerous when they got good ball in hand and we’re not sure what they’ll do this week, we’re just focusing on our preparation," he said on Wednesday.

"I think you saw last Saturday even though they had two centres who potentially carry the ball a bit more they still use the width, still got to the width very well with Folau and Foley distributing that well."

"So nothing changes, we’ve just got to prepare as well as we can, get our own house in order and hopefully we can improve ourselves and take a good performance out there with us.

For Larkham having extra bodies back is a double win, with the former Wallabies 10 having to suit up at reserve flyhalf at stages during the initial camp. 


Not allowed to fly for a week so got a hire car and going to spend some time with family. Not a bad looking chauffeur..

A photo posted by David Pocock (@davidpocock) on

As for Eddie Jones’s suggestion that David Pocock’s injury might be a ruse, Larkham said the accusation was plain wrong.

“We’re not going to lie about injuries and David’s gone on record as well so he’s pretty disappointed,” he said.

The Wallabies team is set to be announced on Wednesday night, with the only major injury worry being lock Rob Simmons.

Simmons missed Tuesday’s training with a back injury and Brumbies lock Sam Carter looks the likely candidate to step up and combine with Super Rugby partner Rory Arnold.

Winger Rob Horne is set to be named after a concussion kept him to limited training early this week.