New Zealand-born Queensland fly half Mike Harris appears to be well in the mix to wear the Wallabies No.10 jersey in next Tuesday’s Test against Scotland in Newcastle.
Harris lined-up at five-eighth during the Wallabies train-on squad’s oppose session on Wednesday, and is a realistic option to call the shots against Scotland should coach Robbie Deans wish to keep his Reds teammate Quade Cooper out of the firing line.
NSW playmaker Berrick Barnes and another Queenslander, Ben Lucas, are also in the frame, however, Barnes was just an onlooker at training on Wednesday as he prepares for the Waratahs match on Saturday night.
Harris only arrived in Australia two years ago when signed by Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie, but qualifies to play for the Wallabies through a paternal grandmother.
The 23-year-old has played mostly inside centre for the Reds this year, but showed in the early rounds of the Super Rugby season that his strong kicking game made him a steady option at No.10.
Cooper has only played two matches this season in his return from a knee injury, and despite being named in the train-on squad, it’s thought Deans might not wish to start him against Scotland.
Meanwhile, boom No.7 prospect Michael Hooper says he’s looking to learn plenty from the world’s premier openside flanker David Pocock during Wallabies camp.
The in-form Brumbies forward, who will join the Waratahs next year, says in many respects he’s tried to model his game on Pocock and is hopeful of a chance to serve as his understudy during the mid-year Tests.
“It’s good to spend some time with him … he’s actually been great, he helps out a lot. The more information I can get out of him the better,” said Hooper.
“He’s one of the best sevens around so it’s a no-brainer there.
“(He’s been helping with) roles and plays, and what to do and where.”
Buford Balony says: What a joke Aussie rugby is if this guy plays for the Wallabies. He wouldn’t even get a look in at a NRL club yet could be the Wallabies fly half. Yep good depth there.