The Wallabies advice that turned Harry Wilson's season around
Nic White (knee) won’t feature, while veteran playmakers Matt Toomua (neck) and James O’Connor (groin) are also under significant injury clouds, leaving Noah Lolesio and Reece Hodge in the mix to wear the No.10.
There is competition for a backrow spot too, with Harry Wilson and Rob Valetini paired together at their locked-down Gold Coast training base after waging war for the Reds and Brumbies respectively this season.
The roommates could share the backrow duties with No 7 and skipper Michael Hooper, although veteran Isi Naisarani finished the season strongly and Lachie Swinton is also knocking on the door for another chance after being red-carded in his test debut last year.
“I actually don’t know,” Wilson said of the likely team. “We’ve been changing every single session, not like last year, it’s been changing very frequently.
“There’s not much of a rivalry in the (backrow) because we’re all really good mates, but it does push you so much.
“It’s hard because there’s five, six quality backrowers there and we’re fighting for four spots.”
That form surge coincided with a mid-season Wallabies camp where he said coach Dave Rennie’s advice resonated.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 2, 2021
“I do reckon I definitely over-thought my footy, coming off the (2020) test season (where he played every game and shone under Rennie) I wanted to play some good footy without doing the little things you need to do well.
“The big shift was making it simpler; if there’s a hole there, back yourself to get through it.
“From Dave it was ‘go back and play a simple game’ and for me that’s run hard and use a bit of footwork at the line and get my hands on the ball as much as I could.
“That was my main focus in attack and dumb things down in attack, some line speed and energy there and that’s what I focused on and I felt there was a fair bit of improvement from there.”
– Murray Wenzel
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