Timu, Tahs duo put hand up for Test spots

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

With 14 Wallabies squad members in action and Michael Cheika's coaching staff all watching on at Suncorp Stadium, gold jerseys were on the line as the Tahs rolled the Reds.

The 52-41 result was entertaining viewing - though defence coach Nathan Grey can't have been overly pleased - and there were several superb individual performances on show.

Caleb Timu's powerful second half cameo caught the eye of Waratahs and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, who may pack down alongside the 24-year-old this time next week.

"He changed the momentum of the game, I thought, when he got on," Hooper said after the win.

"He busted a couple of tackles - first up tackles - and as far as a big, ball carrying backrower - that's someone you'd like to play with."

A spot at hooker looks to have opened up, too, with likely starter Jordan Uelese suffering a knee injury in the Rebels' win over the Blues.Michael Hooper spoke highly of Caleb Timu post match. Photo: Getty ImagesIt's a devastating blow for Uelese but Hooper said Tahs hooker Damien Fitzpatrick would be more than capable of stepping up to the next level.

"Immediately it's horrible news for Jordan - I really hope it's not as bad as it looks - I'm wishing all the best for Jordan," Hooper said.

"It's a position where there isn't much experience but a position where guys are jostling for a spot.

"Even before this unfortunate thing happened Damien would have been in the conversation but how Cheik runs with that decision and his staff, I'm not sure."

Outside centre is another position with limited depth and Curtis Rona appears a chance of displacing both Samu Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani as Cheika's go-to men at 13.

He has been a quiet underachiever in the well oiled machine that is the Tahs attack but he would not look out of place playing a role Kuridrani has filled since 2013.Curtis Rona could be a potential Wallabies starter at outside centre. Photo: Getty Images"He's definitely in the equation and the discussion come selection time," Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said.

"His performances, his line breaks, his stats are all very good.

"I'm sure he stacks up well against those other two so it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out over June."

While all of the above players are possible starters, Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale are locks to line up at 10 and 12, respectively, when the first Test kicks off in seven days time.

They have hit top gear at the right time of the season, Foley one of the best, if not the best, player on the ground on Saturday night.

"I'm really proud with where they've gotten to and we need more of that," Hooper said of the pair.

"To be able to sustain our attack for 80 minutes was pleasing - it's now marrying it up with other stuff."