Joe Tomane is determined to force Wallabies coach Michael Cheika’s hand and cut through the logjam of wingers vying for Rugby World Cup starting roles when he plays against the United States this weekend.
Heading into the World Cup in Britain later this month there’s plenty of options out wide for Cheika.
One wing spot in the key games looks certain to go to 108-Test stalwart Adam Ashley-Cooper unless the utility experience is needed to cover another position.
The queue also includes Brumbies flyer Tomane, proven veteran Drew Mitchell, the reliable Rob Horne and excitement machine Henry Speight, with even versatile Kurtley Beale mentioned in some quarters.
“There’s really good competition and the only thing it’s going to do is improve the team,” Tomane told AAP on Tuesday.
He’s expected to get a start against the US at Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend and knows he needs to make the most of his opportunity.
“It’s a chance for me to showcase what I’ve got to offer to the coaching staff,” Tomane said.
“I’m going to use it as an opportunity to force their hand a bit.”
Tomane never doubted his ability to make the squad despite not locking down a regular starting spot while accumulating 15 Tests over four seasons.
He has played just one of the Wallabies’ four Tests this year, starting against Argentina in Mendoza where he crossed for his fourth Test try.
“I’m always confident in my abilities,” said ex-NRL player Tomane.
“Since I’ve moved to rugby I’ve played a few Tests every year, but haven’t been able to be to lock down a starting role consistently.
“But I’ve been there or thereabouts and I’m trying to improve as much as I can and make sure I do everything I can to improve this team.”
The former Storm and Titans NRL winger said playing at the 2015 World Cup was a drawcard when he switched codes in August 2011.
His cause this season has been helped by a rare injury-free campaign highlighted by a hat-trick of tries in a Super Rugby qualifying final in South Africa against the Stormers.
“This year was probably the first season I’ve played every game, played close to every minute of Super Rugby,” Tomane said.
“The last three years I had niggly injuries every now and then and my first year I had to get ankle surgery at the end of the season, so it’s good to get through a season healthy.”