SYDNEY (Reuters) - ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has called on Australian rugby fans and media to allow young players time to develop before calling for them to be blooded in the international arena.
With rugby union at an all-time low in Australia after a torrid few years on and off the pitch, any promising young talent is quickly seized upon as the saviour of the game.
Young Brumbies locks Darcy Swain and Nick Frost have already been touted as Wallabies prospects in some quarters after little more than a dozen Super Rugby matches between them.
"I think in Australia, someone puts in a good performance and all of a sudden they're the next Wallaby," McKellar told reporters ahead of this weekend's Super Rugby AU match against the Queensland Reds.
"We've got to be a little bit more patient around that. It gets a bit ridiculous there. It does the players no favours at all.
"Let's let Frost and Swain ... develop and become good Super Rugby players and then let's start worrying about what the future holds for them."
McKellar's side could face Jordan Petaia in Canberra on Saturday as the young back, who played at the World Cup as a 19-year-old last year, makes his return from injury on the Reds bench.
While the enthusiasm at the performance of the Brumbies locks may reflect the dearth of top quality second-row talent in Australia, McKellar thought it was part of a broader issue.
"I think we just get a little bit too excited in any position," he added.
"You're not going to be a good test player off the back of a good half-an-hour at Super Rugby level or anything like that.
"We're looking for a diamond in the rough all the time. Just let the players develop."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)