Planet Rugby



Toomua ready for big occasion

16th August 2013 06:30


matt toomua brumbies

Debut: Matt Toomua

New Australian fly-half Matt Toomua has long-term ambitions to stay in the number ten jersey ahead of his Test debut this weekend.

The Brumbies number ten is coming off the back of an excellent Super Rugby campaign and got the nod ahead of Reds fly-half Quade Cooper for Saturday's clash with the All Blacks.

Australia have used a number of players at fly-half, most recently James O'Connor, but Toomua wants to make it his on by executing on the field.

Toomua also paid tribute to Brumbies coach and former Australia fly-half Stephen Larkham for his influence on his career to date.

"It's obviously a big occasion for Australian rugby fans and also obviously for myself a personal milestone in getting my first cap," said Toomua.

"Obviously I have ambitions to keep that number, but everyone who's played that has as well so I don't want to stand here and say 'I'm going to keep it' because that's just naive. I've got to work on executing and doing what I can to keep it.

"I've been working with [Stephen Larkham] who was a Wallaby great at 10 down in Canberra, so to wear that 10 jersey that he wore is special.

"But, like I said, I can't get hung up on sentiments too early. It's about performing out there, and I think doing that will give me the best chance of keeping the jersey."

New Wallabies head coach Ewen McKenzie commented on the decision to select Toomua over Cooper, by stating that no early assumptions should be made on what this weekend's selection meant in the long run.

"Never make assumptions," said McKenzie.

"When I was coaching Quade at the Reds I only had Quade at the Reds. None of this says Quade has done anything wrong. Quade is going quite well. In the end we drilled down to what we actually need and we favoured Matt over Quade.

"As we developed how we wanted to play, it became more and more obvious it was going to be a better way to start the game."

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