Filipo Daugunu has already proven his pace and power but Wallabies coach Dave Rennie says the Fijian flyer can also bring a kicking game to the opening Bledisloe Cup test in Wellington on Sunday.
Daugunu has been named to make his Wallabies debut after a break-out season for Queensland, joining fellow countryman and reigning John Eales Medalist winner Marika Koroibete on the wings.
With six tries, the 25-year-old was the leading try scorer in Super Rugby AU, and led the competition in runs, run metres, tackle busts, offloads and had the equal most line-breaks.
Rennie said his form couldn’t be ignored.
“I thought he was just outstanding for the Reds,” the coach said of Daugunu.
“A real handful – he can beat people in a phone box and really aggressive defensively, great post-tackle so a really good skill-set.”
But Rennie said that Daugunu had a hidden talent with his history as a soccer goal-keeper meaning he offered the Wallabies value with his boot.
Daugunu represented Fiji in under-age soccer teams before his shift to Australia.
“Filipo is actually a very good kicker of the ball and you probably haven’t seen him kick a lot but he is from a football background so a really natural striker of the ball,” Rennie said.
“We have to have a variety of guys who can kick to shape the defence.
“Obviously Matt Toomua has a strong kicking game, we’ve got that with Tom (Banks) and Hunter (Paisami) has a strong kicking game and we’ve been working hard on our wingers to do the same.”
Playing on Koroibete a handful of times in the past two years, Daugunu said he only got to know him when properly when they shared a room in Wallabies camp.
He tried to follow the Melbourne Rebels veteran’s lead, which has ultimately paid off with his first Test selection.
“First time I arrived (in Wallabies camp), I was very scared, and even Marika, I didn’t really know him well,” Daugunu said.
“Training with him is different, he trains the way he plays so I’ve tried to follow him because he’s faster than me, he’s stronger.
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