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Leading lineout thief tipped for Wallabies duty

By Online Editors

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Lock Matt Philip is a wanted man in Melbourne and should also be back on the Wallabies radar, according to Rebels coach Dave Wessels.


In barnstorming form this season, Philip was key to Melbourne’s 37-17 win over the Lions on Saturday night at AAMI Park – his 50th Super Rugby match.

He’s the leading Australian player in the Super Rugby competition for lineout steals and third overall, while he also set up at least one of the Rebels’ tries with his go-forward.

Philip has been linked to French club Pau but Wessels was confident that the 26-year-old would remain with the Rebels.

After playing his three Tests on the Wallabies’ Spring tour in late 2017, Wessels said he’d earnt another call-up.

“I don’t think Matt is heading to France but I can understand why French clubs want to chase a guy like that,” he said.

“Matt is a really great story, he’s one of those guys who really cares about the team so he’s really motivated by that but one thing he really wants to do is play for his country.


“Matt is the type of guy who is going to have a good career with Australia. He’s waited a long time to have that opportunity but he’s earnt that now.”

Wessels admitted that he didn’t initially see the promise in Philip, who started his Super Rugby career with the Western Force before joining the Rebels for the 2018 season.

“I wasn’t going to sign Matt back in the day until Dane (skipper Dane Haylett-Petty) talked me into it at a hotel in Sandton (South Africa),” Wessels said.

“When he started out I wasn’t convinced but Dane saw it long before I did so Matt’s got Dane to thank.”



WATCH: Jim discusses the ramifications of the Six Nations going behind a paywall and no longer being shown on free to watch TV.

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Leading lineout thief tipped for Wallabies duty