The fastest man in Australian rugby set to sizzle at Eden Park

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

He's the fastest man in Australian rugby and Tom Banks must sizzle in the hottest furnace of all on Saturday if the Wallabies are to keep their faint Bledisloe Cup hopes alive.

Banks has been named on the bench for a likely debut at Eden Park, fearless attack and sublime try-scoring form for the Brumbies this season the catalyst for his selection.

And while more pessimistic types may view a Wallabies debut at the famous Eden Park graveyard as daunting, the mentality which makes Banks such a strike weapon is clear ahead of Saturday's must win match.

"This is why you play rugby, these big moments," Banks said.

"And you can't get much bigger than this - this weekend.Tom Banks is in line for a Wallabies debut. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"It's something I've been looking forward to for a long time so hopefully I get my opportunity out there."

He may have had a slow start to the Super Rugby season but Banks has been anything but over the back half of the year.

The Queenslander's scintillating speed is a natural asset which can't be taught - his full-bore approach to footy drawing regular comparisons to former Wallaby No. 15 Chris Latham.

Banks' breathtaking form coincided with the Brumbies' brilliant finish to the season and his match winning heroics against the Bulls after Folau Faingaa saw red for a headbutt had to be seen to be believed.

But it was a man of the match performance in the Wallabies' Leichhardt Oval trial which provided the stamp of personal validation Banks required to feel ready to fire at the next level.

"Through all the training and the knowledge we've been doing over the last five weeks I feel I've built (in) every situation, built every week, and I've been pushing for this point," he said.

"Now that it's finally here I've got to take it with both hands."


Now his opportunity has arrived the straight-talking live wire is ready to get on with the job - preferring to walk the walk rather than talk the talk.

"There's no bigger stage than trying to prove it here," Banks said.

"We've got the firepower and we've gone through what we need to do, we just need to go out there and do it.

"Stop talking and go out and do it."

The Wallabies face the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, 7:35pm local, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten, RUGBY.com.au radio and Macquarie Sports radio. The Wallaroos take on the Black Ferns at 5pm local, 3pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au RADIO.