Toomua stakes Wallabies claim with double
April 26, 2014
The Brumbies defeated the defending champion Chiefs convincingly in Canberra (Video available in Australia Only)
Brumbies five-eighth Matt Toomua is one of those rare players who refuses to downplay his Wallabies ambitions. "Probably one of my only [personal] goals is to try and get in that squad," he says.
Toomua took a giant leap towards reclaiming the No.10 or No.12 jersey for the June Tests against France with a man-of-the-match performance on Friday in the Brumbies' Super Rugby defeat of reigning premiers the Chiefs 41-23. More known for his brick-wall defence and composure in attack, it was the first time he'd scored two tries in his Super Rugby career.
"I haven't had a bit of 'double meat', as Badge says," Toomua said. "Three weeks ago in training, I got three tries in touch - that's about it."
Toomua knows that playing well for the Brumbies in the next four weeks, leading up to the three-Test series, will be critical to his representative ambitions. It just so happens that it's the toughest four-week window the Brumbies will face this year. They have to travel to New Zealand to take on the on-song Crusaders, host the table-topping Sharks, then cap it off with a two-week tour of South Africa.
"So there's no use worrying six weeks out," Toomua said. "You've got to be playing well right into the June window."
Despite a breakout year for the Wallabies last season, Toomua's competition for a starting Test spot in 2014 is hotter than ever. Most pundits have already declared Queensland's Quade Cooper as a must-have at No.10, while Kurtley Beale has shone for the Waratahs at No.12 this year.
Then there's the rampaging form of teammate Pat McCabe, as well as Friday's run-on return of Wallaby Christian Leali'ifano - who shared the bulk of the Wallabies' No.12 jersey with Toomua last year. And while three close Brumbies teammates will all compete for the same Wallaby position, Toomua couldn't be happier to have Leali'ifano back in the fold. Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher believes those around Leali'ifano lift when he's on the field.
"His composure and leadership in the backline really reflected in where Tevita (Kuridrani's) game went to tonight," Fisher said. "He made a massive difference to his capacity to play towards his potential."