Wallabies: Dave Rennie claims there is no preferred full-back in the squad

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie said he is not sure who is his preferred full-back after looking at several players in the position this year.

Tom Wright will be yet another player used in the number 15 shirt, having been named in the starting team against Wales, with Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway and Jock Campbell all having played at full-back in Wallaby gold this season.

With Kellaway and Banks unavailable, Rennie admits the management was tempted to use Campbell at the back after he has shown a positive start to his Test career.

Rewarding players

However, Rennie revealed that he was looking to reward Wright and Mark Nawaqanitawase, who have both looked in decent touch for the Wallabies.

“We definitely discussed playing Jock (at full-back),” said Rennie. “We just felt that if we played Jock and Mark and Jordy, there’s not a lot of voice there and that’s going to be really important.

“We could have [kept Wright on] the wing and then left one of the other guys out, but they were both excellent last week and we wanted to give them a chance to start together.

“Jock’s very much in the mix. It’s the modern game. He’ll make a contribution, but it’ll be off the bench.”

When asked if he knew his first choice full-back, Rennie admitted he has several options but is not sure who is at the top of the pecking order.

“I think what we’ve found out this year – because we’ve used a lot of 15s – is we’ve got some genuine strong options here now,” he added.

“We’ve played Andrew Kellaway there, we’ve played Tom Banks and Tom Wright. Jordy was down to play there at one stage. We’ve used Hodgie back there, we’ve used Jock Campbell. So I think we’ve genuinely developed some really strong options back there.

“But as to who’s got the nod from a World Cup point of view, it’s pretty tight.”

Working with clubs

Rennie and his Wallabies management plan to work closely with their clubs to track players and request game time in certain positions. However, the coach knows the final decision rests with those sides.

“We’ll certainly talk to the clubs around the players,” he said. “When we get back, we’ll go around and we’ll sit down and go through their IDPs (individual development plans) and give a bit of feedback around where they’re at and what we think their focus needs to be and the clubs will have maybe a point of difference here; they may feel that another area’s important for them for how they want to play, so we’ll include that as well.

“As far as selection goes, we may have a chat that ideally we’d like so and so to get some time in a certain position but ultimately, they’ll do what’s best for their group and we’ve got to accept that.”

READ MORE: Wallabies: Injuries, Giteau’s Law and rolling the dice with Dave Rennie

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