'He's been excellent' - Rennie name checks potential Wallaby bolters
Rennie will name his players next Sunday for the series, which opens in Sydney on July 7, with three Tests played in 11 days, and says there will be some changes to the 40-man training squad he named in March.
“We’ve got the spine of a team … there’s certainly positions that we’re unsure of and the next couple of weeks are going to be important for those individuals,” Rennie told Stan Sport.
After leaving out all three of the hookers he used in 2020, Rennie said the No.2 jersey still remained wide open, as did spots in the second row.
“We’re going to pick three hookers but it’s wide open,” Rennie said. “Brandon Paenga-Amosa is heading overseas but he’s been really strong over last four to five weeks.
“Long-term Lachlan Lonergan’s a really good athlete, similar to the Kiwis, where he’s got a real presence over the ball and he’s good in wide channels and aggressive; a good thrower, but from a scrummaging point of view he’s got a bit of work to do.
“(Feleti) Kaitu’u has had an excellent season.”
He’d said been impressed with Waratahs centre Izaia Perese, who has been a shining light in a season of gloom.
“He’s been excellent,” Rennie said. “Prior to that March camp, he’d had a 20 minute cameo and was red-carded and then one game so we were never going to bring him in.
“We wanted him to earn the right and play well and he’s done that.
“We’re excited by that and whether he’s a 12 or 13 depends on how we use Toomua or Hunter Paisami.”
Rennie was pleased with the growth of the Australian teams through the series, despite only banking two wins from four rounds.
“I think it’s been awesome for us. It’s certainly given our guys an indication of the intensity of the Kiwi teams play (with) and I think we’ve gotten better and better,” he said.
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