A more refined Marika Koroibete is learning to pick his moments as he pushes his Wallabies coach Michael Cheika for a chance against Argentina in Brisbane on Saturday.
The quietly-spoken Fijian has crashed and bashed his way into Cheika’s World Cup plans since a switch from rugby league almost three years ago.
The birth of his second child kept him at home and out of last weekend’s loss to South Africa in Johannesburg, where Reece Hodge and Dane Haylett-Petty occupied the flanks.
Koroibete is a chance to earn a 21st Test cap when the Wallabies face the Pumas though, so too returning utility back James O’Connor, as Cheika assesses his options before September’s showpiece in Japan.
Pleading his case, Koroibete said he had come a long way since playing in the 2016 NRL grand final for the Melbourne Storm.
“My understanding of the game; it’s something that I’ve learnt a lot from when I came on in 2017,” he said.
“It was like just ‘play the game’, now I understand it a bit more, how to work smart instead of just walking around (using my) energy up.
“Picking the right time to work hard, not just run around for the sake of it, or for the GPS (running and workload statistics).”
The Melbourne Rebels winger has speed and physicality to test the improved Argentines, who beat the hosts in a Gold Coast thriller last year before Australia replied with an historic comeback win in Salta.
“I’m working with (Wallabies strength and conditioning guru) Dean Benton, who’s helping me a lot with my speed, power, endurance,” Koroibete said.
“Hopefully I get some game time to show my potential, show what I’ve got.
“There’s a lot of competition, I just want to get a chance and give all I’ve got.”
Argentina could introduce some of their overseas contingent after a Jaguares-heavy squad pushed New Zealand to the brink last weekend.
While much improved on the back of the Jaguares’ run to the Super Rugby final this year, Argentina are winless in their past six Tests.
Australia have won just two of their past seven Rugby Championship clashes but are undefeated at Suncorp Stadium in a five-Test streak dating back to June 2016.
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