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'He's been awesome': Wallabies coach predicts who will start at No. 10 for All Blacks as Australian selection headaches loom

By AAP
Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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Just 10 days out from the opening Bledisloe Cup test against the All Blacks, the big debate among the Wallabies coaches is who will start in the backline.

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With a squad of 44 in Christchurch preparing for the first test in Wellington on October 11, Wallabies attack coach Scott Wisemantel says competition is fierce for starting spots.

“I’ve got a backline in my head but whether it’s the same backline as Dave (Rennie) and Tatsie (Matt Taylor) and Geoff (Parling), that’s for debate, and that’s a nightly debate that we’re having at the moment, so it brings an edge to training, which is good so that’s what we want,” Wisemantel said.

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Wallabies assistant Scott Wisemantel speaks to media
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Wallabies assistant Scott Wisemantel speaks to media

“It’s always changing – someone will have a terrific training session and someone lets themselves down a wee bit – it’s one of those ones where they’ve got to perform.”

Wisemantel said three weeks preparation in camp meant there was time to establish new combinations, so they wouldn’t necessarily rely on both halves coming from the Brumbies or Reds.

“At the moment it’s a really good opportunity to see who matches and gels with who and we want to see a level of consistency and continuity through the bench.”

While joining England in the middle of 2018 under former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones had an immediate impact, Wisemantel warned the Australians were a little raw given the debutants and new coaching staff.

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“They’re different teams in so far as that English team had been together for a fair while and fairly well established, we’re probably at a different (stage),” Wisemantel said.

“New coaching staff, new systems, new players so our ambition is to do the same thing – that’s the ambition but whether we can do it in the short-term I don’t know.”

While the Wallabies playmakers are far from set¬†Wisemantel was firm about whom he saw in the All Blacks No.10 jersey –¬†Richie Mo’unga.

Wisemantel was asked why he preferred Mo’unga, who mostly started there last year, over Beauden Barrett.

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“Have you watched the Super Rugby Aotearoa? He’s been awesome.”

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