Wallabies unsure over halfbacks

Date published: August 25 2015

The Wallabies are still unsure who their starting halfback combination will be at the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

That was revealed by Wallabies backline coach Stephen Larkham who, when he was a player, admitted that it is best to pick an inside backs combination… and to stick with it in order to get the best out them.

When reminded of that, after saying the Wallabies are still battling to find their best halfback partnership, Larkham told the Sydney Morning Herald: "I used to like [continuity] because that is the way it was.

"We will make a decision on our selection based on whether we think [the] combination is going to be important, or whether we think the guys can handle the change week to week."

Waratahs duo Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley lined up in a possible first XV at the Wallabies' training session in Sydney on Tuesday against the Reds' Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

But Larkham said the Wallabies selectors will trial every possible combination in the run-up to their World Cup opener against Fiji on September 23.

That includes training sessions and their final match before the World Cup – the Test against the USA in Chicago on September 5.

"We have a fair idea of who we want to go with, but we have still got a little bit of training to get through and certainly a game against the USA before we finalise [it]," added Larkham.

When asked what exactly selectors are looking for, Larkham said: "Consistency in that position is the No.1 thing … So, making sure you are running the team around the paddock, you are taking the right options."

Larkham revealed that the Wallabies side to face Fiji will also line up against England in their third pool match – so it is set to be their best starting XV – with their second match against Uruguay just four days after their clash against Fiji.

"The rough plan at this stage is to play our best team against Fiji, or the team we want to play against England against Fiji with a view to putting other guys on the paddock against Uruguay," he expalined. 

"The problem there for us is that it is a Wednesday game to a Sunday game to a Saturday game … so it's a fairly awkward start to the World Cup for us."