Planet Rugby



Selection headaches for Wallabies

06th August 2014 11:37


SKY_MOBILE Adam Ashley Cooper

Ashley-Cooper: Wing or centre?

Australia head coach Ewen McKenzie has admitted he has a few "selection headaches" in his backline due to the Waratahs' Super Rugby success.

Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper's form has put pressure on Brumbies and Wallaby centres Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani.

Meanwhile, McKenzie must also decide whether Nick Phipps should overtake Nic White at the base in a fascinating Bledisloe Cup selection.

"There's always selection headaches," McKenzie told AAP ahead of the Rugby Championship.

"The Waratahs have done a fantastic job, we recognise that, we recognise form.

"They go about their business a certain way, we do things a little bit differently.

"We'll go through the business of selections and announce a team next week."

He added: "(Phipps) has done nothing wrong. All you can do is go out and play well every week."

"It's up to the selectors to work out what we need in the circumstances.

"The difficulty for us is that some players will miss out."

Wing is the Wallabies' problem area though as with Nick Cummins leaving for Japan and Henry Speight currently ineligible, they are short on in-form men going into tackling New Zealand, with Joe Tomane, Rob Horne and Peter Betham the recognised wide players.

Because of this it seems likely that Ashley-Cooper will start on the wing like he did in June, with inside centre Toomua welcoming the competition the form of the 'Tahs has brought.

"Maintaining combinations can only help a team," he said.

"Whether that's the Waratahs combinations or what we went with in the (France) Test series - I don't know.

"But to have those guys playing well and pushing for spots is only a positive."

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