Michael Cheika has backed Jordan Petaia to play fullback for the Wallabies in subsequent month’s three Take a look at collection towards England.
Cheika, now the Argentina coach, gave Petaia his debut Take a look at jersey as a youngster within the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The prodigious expertise rewarded Cheika with a superb efficiency in a overwhelmed facet, impressing at outdoors centre within the quarter closing loss to England in Japan.
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The world appeared Petaia’s oyster however accidents and uncertainty over his finest place have since slowed his progress in each Tremendous Rugby and the worldwide area.
Tom Banks was Dave Rennie’s most well-liked fullback final 12 months however the Brumbies star has left the door ajar by signing to play his membership rugby in Japan subsequent season.
Rennie has made it clear that he’ll favour Australian-committed gamers in the case of tight choice calls.
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“Banks is the incumbent – he hasn’t actually ever arrived in that place,” Cheika mentioned on 9’s Sports activities Sunday.
“(Andrew) Kellaway’s a little bit of a brand new child on the block. I am a giant Jordan Petaia fan.
“At 15 he offers you one thing a bit completely different. Nice within the air and if he can construct his kicking recreation, he is obtained X-factor as effectively, he can ship one thing from the again.”
Cheika was requested straight if he thought Petaia was able to play fullback at Take a look at degree.
“He by no means will probably be if he would not get an opportunity. If the coach sees that there is the chance for him, then getting these Take a look at matches a 12 months and half out from the World Cup is crucial.”
Cheika additionally supported Rennie’s collection of Suliasi Vunivalu regardless of the previous NRL star having one other Tremendous Rugby season blighted by damage.
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“The man’s clearly an X-factor participant,” Cheika mentioned.
“Within the large Take a look at matches these gamers who can create one thing out of nothing are the fellows who can win you a recreation on one play.
“Vunivalu is that man. He hasn’t had lots of continuity round enjoying with some accidents however I feel it is a worthwhile punt by the coach.”
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Rennie advised reporters on Monday that he hadn’t bothered to look at England’s loss to the Barbarians at Twickenham.
He felt that recreation would have subsequent to no bearing on the tour correct however was keenly awaiting Eddie Jones choosing his closing squad.
Rennie had, nevertheless, watched Leicester’s victory over Saracens in an exciting Premiership closing on Sunday.
He described the sport as a “kick-fest” that may very well be a pointer to what the Wallabies may count on from England Down Underneath.
Rennie’s most important damage concern was Taniela Tupou’s return from a major calf damage however remained hopeful that his star prop can be match for the collection opener in Perth on July 2.
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