Brumbies inside centre Pat McCabe is definitely is Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie’s sights, according to Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher.
Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher is confident hardman centre Pat McCabe is tracking for a Wallabies recall if he maintains his rampaging form.
McCabe speedbumped young Auckland Blues five-eighth Simon Hickey to score two tries and make more than a dozen gain-line runs in the Brumbies 26-9 win in Canberra on Friday night.
The biggest problem for Brumbies head and backline coach Stephen Larkham going forward is how he will fit three Wallabies No.12s into just two positions: five-eighth and inside centre.
With sharpshooting goalkicker Christian Lealiifano impressing off the bench at No.10 last night following last year’s ankle surgery, it puts the pressure on five-eighth Matt Toomua, who has also been exceptional this year.
“That’s an exciting thing for us as a group, crap thing for Bernie (Larkham), but he can have that,” captain Ben Mowen said.
McCabe’s man-of-the-match performance comes after he broke his neck for the second time while playing for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions last June.
His no-holds-barred courage throughout his comeback, and in particular on Friday night, has won praise from coaches, opponents and teammates alike.
While the Wallabies No.12 jumper was expected to be hotly contested between Toomua, Lealiifano and Waratahs playmaker Kurtley Beale this season, Fisher said 26-year-old McCabe had now also staked his claim.
“I think he’s definitely in Ewen (McKenzie’s) sights,” Fisher said.
“He’ll be quite high in the thoughts of Wallabies selectors if he continues this form.”
However McCabe said he hadn’t yet spoken to Wallabies coach McKenzie and was just happy to hold his spot in the Brumbies’ 23.
“If I can keep getting a game here, then things can happen down the line,” he said.
“But for the most part I’m just worried about playing next week.”
That next week match is one you can be sure the Australian conference leading Brumbies have furiously circled in their calender.
They’ll travel up to Brisbane to take on grudge rivals the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, seeking revenge for their season opening loss at home.
“It’s huge, massive,” Mowen said.
“In rugby you want challenges. And going to Suncorp is one of the massive challenges in Super Rugby.”
However they’ll be sweating over the fitness of Matt Toomua (corked knee), Jesse Mogg (hamstring and ankle), Robbie Coleman (cork) and Sam Carter (knee), who are all at risk of adding to an already deep injury list.