Fuglistaller aiming for Wallabies call-up
February 7, 2014
Scott Fuglistaller faces stiff competition for a No. 7 Wallabies berth © Getty Images
The Melbourne Rebels have another New Zealander who will be putting his hand up to play for the Wallabies in flanker Scott Fuglistaller. Hailing from Wellington, Fuglistaller is in his second season with the Rebels and made a big impression last year, playing every match.
Indicative of his work-rate, he topped the tackle count among the Australian Super teams, finishing sixth overall. The 26-year-old is a former under-19 New Zealand representative but like Rebels fullback Jason Woodward, he said he would happily pull on an Australia jersey once he qualified through residency.
"I have no allegiance really to anywhere," Fuglistaller said ahead of the Rebels second trial, against the Hurricanes in Geelong Saturday night. "I think loyalty's gone out the window a little bit. I don't want to sound negative but I've come here to play for the Rebels and qualify to play for Australia so if that chance came about I'd definitely consider it."
Openside flanker is one position that the Wallabies have depth in, led by David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Liam Gill. Fuglistaller said that is a good thing.
"I'm playing their teams twice a year so I'm getting an international No.7 to play against so I'm happy to go up against some of the best."
Even at the Rebels there is some stiff competition from Jordy Reid and with the arrival of Colby Fainga'a, from the Brumbies.
Melbourne coach Tony McGahan has named Fuglistaller at No. 7 and Fainga'a, the younger brother of Wallabies twins Saia and Anthony, at No. 6 for the second half against the Hurricanes. McGahan told his team that he would consider playing two on-ballers in the pack come the season proper.
"We've been playing left and right which I've thoroughly enjoyed because it's good to have someone who loves being on the ball as much as I do," Fuglistaller said. "Tony told us the door's open to playing two smalls if we're playing the best rugby, so hopefully we can take it into the season."
Former All Black centre Tamati Ellison has been named for the first time in Rebels colours after arriving from Japanese club commitments and is set for a second-half appearance.