Wallaby Watch: Analysing the outside backs options for Joe Schmidt's opening Test against Wales

Mon, Jun 10, 2024, 3:04 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

The Wallabies' opening Test of 2024 is just under a month away as players look to press their claims.

July 6 will mark Joe Schmidt's first game in charge as the Wallabies take on Wales in Sydney.

Catch every game of Super Rugby Pacific LIVE, ad-free and on demand on Stan Sport.

A new coach brings fresh opportunities for players to impress as they look to stand out in Super Rugby Pacific.

With the regular season completed, Rugby.com.au presents 'Wallaby Watch' - a series breaking down positional groups ahead of the Test season, looking at the back three.

It will be broken into two sections: players selected at the 2023 Rugby World Cup and those looking to break into the squad in 2024.

Maintain their spot (Players selected in 2023 RWC)
Andrew Kellaway

Kellaway has been consistent as ever for the Rebels in 2024 at fullback.

The Rebel was a key reason behind their push to their maiden finals appearance and has done everything he can to retain his spot in the Wallabies side.

Jordan Petaia

Petaia was in great form for the Reds before suffering a shoulder injury.

The outside back went under the knife in April and will look to return during the Test season.

Max Jorgensen

Likewise with Petaia, Jorgensen has been sidelined for the majority of the season after picking up a knee injury.

He will likely be back for the July series, although faces significant competition to retain his spot after an inconsistent season.

Suliasi Vunivalu

Vunivalu has found himself dropping down the pecking order for the Reds, leaving his Wallabies hopes in major doubt.

The flyer has not featured since his red card against the Drua after the rise of Tim Ryan and Mac Grealy

Mark Nawaqanitawase

Coming off a strong World Cup campaign Nawaqanitawase has had a slow start in 2024, scoring just one try in Super Rugby Pacific.

He will likely wear gold in July, although whether it’s in Sydney or Paris with the Sevens is yet to be seen

Marika Koroibete

Koroibete has been a stalwart of the Wallabies system in the 2020s.

However, he faces a similar fate to his fellow overseas hopefuls as Joe Schmidt weighs up his options.

Pushing for selection (Those who missed 2023 RWC)
Corey Toole

Toole has backed up his breakout year with a brilliant 2024 season.

The Brumby is one of the fastest players in the world and shapes as a key game-breaker for the Wallabies if called upon

Tom Wright

The form Australian player in Super Rugby Pacific, Wright has been sensational in the Brumbies’ push to the semi-finals.

He has rid the errors from his game and is playing with supreme confidence at the moment, doing everything he needs to do to earn a recall.

Jock Campbell

Campbell has been a rock at the back for the Reds in 2024.

He’s been a central reason behind their improvement under Les Kiss and has flown under the radar throughout the season.

Dylan Pietsch

Pietsch has continued his try-scoring ways in 2024 and was one of the Waratahs’ best despite a tough season.

The 26-year-old keeps getting better after featuring in the Wallabies squad in the Rugby Championship. 

Tim Ryan

Ryan is the breakout star of 2024 after lighting up the Junior World Championships last season.

‘The Junkyard Dog’ scored nine tries in six starts for the Reds and has plenty of admirers thanks to his rapid pace and acceleration

Mac Grealy

Grealy has been incredibly consistent for the Reds in 2024 in their push to the quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old has locked down a spot in the Queensland back three and is looking to take the next step and claim a gold jersey

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