The secret weapon that Wallabies debutant Filipo Daugunu is set to unleash on All Blacks
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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