Australian Rugby - Wallabies v British & Irish Lions
Jesse Mogg looking at Lions
May 28, 2013
Jesse Mogg has recaptured his early-season form © Getty Images
Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg still hopes to claim one of the final six spots in the Wallabies squad to face the British & Irish Lions, but team-mate Matt Toomua is setting his sights on the Rugby Championship.
The pair have been standouts for the Brumbies this year, Mogg cementing the fullback role and five-eighth Toomua bouncing back from a season-ending knee injury in 2012 to help to put their side at the top of the Australian Super Rugby conference. But the uncapped players were both overlooked for Robbie Deans' 25-man list announced on May 19.
Mogg, who was included in a provisional Wallabies camp in April, looked likely to feature in the squad when he scored four tries in as many matches for the Brumbies early in the Super Rugby season, but a shoulder injury sidelined him for three games before he suffered a slight form slump and Israel Folau was preferred.
Mogg said Deans had advised him that he still had a chance to make the 31-man squad if he continued to build his game. "All I can do is go out there and play well for the Brumbies and whatever comes from that, comes," he said. "I think it's more just consistency."But as long as I'm kicking well and running well and defensively in position, I'll be putting my best foot forward.
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"It's just the physicality of Test rugby [Deans] is concerned about. I showed last year at some points in the competition I wasn't physically capable, but this year I've grown. It's something I'll always have to keep working on and hopefully get there sooner rather than later."
Mogg, however, he does not believe he needs to carry any extra weight to play physically. "I'm pretty happy around 90 kilos. I guess I can put a little bit more on, but ... speed is one of my greatest assets. I don't want to jeopardise my speed for a few extra kilos that I might not have to have."
Toomua said he wasn't expecting a late call-up to face the Lions despite James O'Connor being the only player in the squad playing fly-half in Super Rugby. "In my opinion there are three guys who can play at [fly-half], and probably others as well," Toomua said. "We'll be comfortable in depth in that position."
Toomua said he was more likely to feature in the Wallabies squad in the Rugby Championship starting in August or the Spring European Tour, when the coaching staff would be more willing to try new players. "It's more realistic, to be fair," he said. "But it depends on how we go against the Lions. If we win against the Lions, why change a winning formula?"